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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D. 

EDITED BY 
fT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

fE. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. tW. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, M.A. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.r.hist.soc. 



PRUDENTIUS 
II 



I 



PRUDENTIUS 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 

H. J. THOMSON, D.LiTT. 

laiEEITUS PROFESSOR OF LATIN IN THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE 
OF NORTH WALES, BANGOR 



IN TWO VOLUMES 

n 




LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

MCMLUI 




SEP 9 195S 



Printed in Qreal Britain 



CONTENTS 



PAQE 
CONTRA OEATTONEM SYMMACHI, LIBER II ... 2 

PERISTEPHANON LIBER . . . . . .98 

TITULI HISTORIARTJM ( DITTOCHAEON) .... 346 

EPILOGUS . 372 

INDEX 377 



THE POEMS OF PRUDENTIUS 



VOL. II. 



CONTRA ORATIONEM 
SYMMACHI 

LIBER II 



PRAEFATIO 

Simon, quern vocitant Petrum, 

summus discipulus Dei, 

lucis forte sub exitu, 

cum vesper croceus rubet, 

curvam vulserat ancoram 5 

captans flamina linteis 

et transnare volens fretum. 

nox ventum movet obvium 

fundo qui mare misceat, 

iactatam quatiat ratem. 10 

clamor nauticus aethera 

plangens atque ululans ferit 

cum stridore rudentium, 

nee quidquam suberat spei 

mergendis prope naufragis, 15 

cum Christum procul aspicit 

pallens turba periculis 

calcantem pedibus mare, 

ac si per solidam viam 

siccum litus obambulet. 20 



A REPLY TO THE ADDRESS 
OF SYMMACHUS" 

BOOK II 

PREFACE 

Simon, whom men call Peter, God's chief disciple, once 
as the sun was setting, when the evening turns from 
gold to red, had pulled up his curved anchor, courting 
the breezes with his canvas and wishing to sail across 
the sea. But night brought up such a head-wind as 
disturbed the waters from their depths and tossed 
and shook the vessel. The boatmen's cries of woe 
and lamentation struck the skies amid the whistling in 
the ropes, and they had no hope left of escaping 
speedy wreck and drowning, when suddenly at some 
distance the company, whose perils had blanched 
their cheeks, saw Christ treading on the sea just as if 
He were walking over a dry shore on a firm path. 

" See Introduction, vol. I, pp. x-xii. 

3 



PRUDENTIUS 

haec miracula ceteri 

vectores pavidi stupent, 

solus non trepidus Petrus 

agnoscit Dominum poll 

terraeque et maris invii, 25 

cuius omnipotentiae est 

plantis aequora subdere. 

tendit suppliciter manus, 

notum subsidium rogat. 

ast ille placide adnuens 30 

puppi ut desiliat iubet. 

iussis obsequitur Petrus, 

sed vestigia fluctibus 

summis tingere coeperat 

et lapsante gradu pedes 35 

pessum mergere lubricos. 

mortalem Deus increpat 

quod sit non stabili fide 

nee calcare fluentia 

nee Christum valeat sequi. 40 

tum dextra famulum levat 

sistitque et docet ingredi 

tergum per tumidum freti. 

sic me tuta silentia 
egressum dubiis loquax 45 

infert lingua periculis, 
non, ut discipulum Petrum, 
fidentem et merito et fide, 
sed quem culpa frequens levem 
volvat per freta naufragum. 50 

sum plane temerarius, 
qui noctis mihi conscius 
quam vitae in tenebris ago, 
puppem credere fluctibus 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

At this marvel the rest of the men on board were 
struck dumb with fear ; Peter alone undismayed 
recognised the Lord of heaven and earth and of the 
pathless sea, to whose omnipotence it belongs to put 
the waters under his feet. He stretched forth his 
hands in prayer, asking for the help he knew so well ; 
but Christ, beckoning calmly, bade him leap down 
from the ship. Peter obeyed the command, but 
scarce had he wetted his soles on the surface of the 
water when he felt his steps give way and his feet 
slip and sink down. God rebuked the mortal man 
for the unsteadiness of his faith and his want of 
strength to tread on the waves and follow Christ. 
Then with his hand He raised his servant and set him 
up and taught him to walk on the heaving surface of 
the sea. 

In the same way I, passing the safe bounds of 
silence, am brought into anxious peril by my restless 
tongue; for I cannot, like the disciple Peter, place 
my trust both in merit and in faith, but am such an 
one as manifold sins have shipwrecked and roll lightly 
over the waters. Rash indeed am I, since though 
well aware of the night which I am passing in my 
darkened life, I do not fear to entrust my bark 

5 



PRUDENTIUS 

tanti non timeam viri ; 55 

quo nunc nemo disertior 

exultat, fremit, intonat, 

ventisque eloquii tumet : 

cui mersare facillimum est 

tractandae indocilem ratis, 60 

ni tu, Christe potens, manum 

dextro numine porrigas, 

facundi oris ut inpetus 

non me fluctibus obruat, 

sed sensim gradiens vadis ' 65 

insistam fluitantibus. 



Hactenus et veterum cunabula prima deorum 
et causas quibus error hebes conflatus in orbe est 
diximus, et nostro Romam iam credere Christo ; 
nunc obiecta legam, nunc dictis dicta refellam. 
unde igitur coepisse ferunt aut ex quibus orsum, 5 
quo mage sancta ducum corda inlice flecteret arte ? 
armorum dominos vernantes flore iuventae, 
inter castra patris genitos, sub imagine avita 
eductos, exempla domi congesta calentes, 
orator catus instigat, ceu classica belli 10 

clangeret, exacuitque animos et talia iactat : 
" si vobis vel parta, viri, victoria cordi est 
vel parienda dehinc, templum dea virgo sacratum 
obtineat vobis regnantibus. ecquis amicus 
hostibus banc vestro sancte negat esse colendam 15 
imperio, cui semper adest, quod laudibus inplet? " 

" Honorius and Arcadius, sons of Theodosius I, and em- 
perors of the West and East respectively. 

* The father of Theodosius, who bore the same name, had 
been eminent as a military commander, doing very notable 
service in Britain and Africa in the time of Valentinian I. 
6. 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

to the flood of so great a man ; for none in our time 
has greater power of speech to leap and roar and 
thunder and swell in storms of eloquence. Most easy 
it were for him to sink me, since I have no skill in 
handling my boat, unless Thou, O mighty Christ, 
reach forth thy hand to aid me with thy divine 
power, so that the rush of his eloquent speech shall 
not overwhelm me in the deep, but walking step by 
step I may stand firm on the rolling waters. 



So far I have spoken of the first origins of the old 
gods and the causes which gave rise to witless super- 
stition in the world, and how Rome now trusts in our 
Christ. Now I shall review our opponent's case and 
rebut argument with argument. From what point, 
then, do they say he began, from what grounds did 
he start so as to turn the pious minds of our leaders "■ 
with more effect by his seductive skill ? Masters 
of arms, in the bloom and flower of young manhood, 
born amid their father's campaigns, brought up after 
the likeness of their grandsire,^ and fired by historic 
examples accumulated in their family, like the artful 
orator he is he incites them as if he were sounding the 
trump of war, and seeks to whet their spirits with 
words like these : " If, sirs, victory gained or to be 
gained hereafter is dear to you, let the virgin god- 
dess " keep her dedicated temple while you reign. 
Is any man so friendly to our foes as to deny that she 
deserves the pious worship of your imperial power, 
which she ever favours and fills with glory? " ^ 

' Victory. Meetings of the senate began with the burning 
of incense on her altar. 
■* Cf. Symmachus, Belatio ill, 4. 



PRUDENTIUS 



haec ubi legatus, reddunt placidissima fratrum 
ora ducum : " scimus quam sit victoria dulcis 
fortibus, Ausoniae vir facundissime linguae, 
sed quibus ilia modis, qua sit ratione vocanda 20 

novimus ; hac primum pueros pater imbuit arte, 
hanc genitore suo didicit puer ipse magistro. 
non aris, non farre molae victoria felix 
exorata venit : labor inpiger, aspera virtus, 
vis animi excellens, ardor, violentia, cura 25 

hanc tribuunt, durum tractandis robur in armis. 
quae si defuerint bellantibus, aurea quam vis 
marmoreo in templo rutilas Victoria pinnas 
explicet et multis surgat formata talentis, 
non aderit, versisque ofFensa videbitur hastis. 30 

quid, miles, propriis diffisus viribus aptas 
inrita femineae tibimet solacia formae ? 
numquam pinnigeram legio ferrata puellam 
vidit, anhelantum regeret quae tela virorum. 
vincendi quaeris dominam ? sua dextera cuique est, 35 
et Deus omnipotens, non pexo crine virago 
nee nudo suspensa pede strophioque recincta 
nee tumidas fluitante sinu vestita papillas. 
aut vos pictorum docuit manus adsimulatis 
iure poetarum numen conponere monstris, 40 

aut lepida ex vestro sumpsit pictura sacello 
quod variis imitata notis ceraque liquenti 



" Ausonia was properly the country of the Ausones (or 
Aurunci) in central Italy; but the name came to be applied 
to the whole peninsula. 

* The mola salsa, a mixture of parched grain and salt which 
was sprinkled on the animals to be ofiFered in sacrifice. 

* This description may be compared with illustrations of 
statues of Victory (Nice) in a Dictionary of Antiquities, 

8 - 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

To these words of the senate's deputy the brother 
leaders calmly answer: "We know how sweet is 
victory to the brave, most eloquent speaker of the 
Ausonian" tongue; but we know the ways and 
method by which she is to be invoked ; it was in this 
art that our father first trained us in our boyhood, 
it was this that he himself learned as a boy from the 
teaching of his sire. Not with altars nor ground 
wheat * is auspicious victory prevailed upon to come. 
It is tireless toil, rude courage, surpassing energy of 
spirit, burning zeal, forcefulness, painstaking, that 
bestow victory, and stark strength in handling arms. 
If men at war lack these, then even though a golden 
Victory unfold her flashing wings in a marble temple, 
a lofty figure that cost a great price, she will not be 
at their side, and their spears turned about will seem 
to show her offended. Why, soldier, if you distrust 
your own strength, do you equip yourself with the 
useless aid of a woman's figure ? Never has an 
armoured legion seen a winged maid whose part it 
was to direct the panting warriors' weapons. Seek 
you the power that rules victory ? It is a man's own 
right hand, and almighty God, no she-warrior with 
dressed hair, hovering bare-footed, girt in with a 
band, while the robe that clothes her swelling 
breasts flows in loose folds over her bosom." Either 
the handiwork of painters has taught you to make a 
divinity out of unreal shapes which the poet's licence 
has feigned, or the painter's pretty art has taken 
from your shrine something to copy with diverse 
strokes and melted wax '^ and shape into a figure, 

^ Wax was used as a medium for binding the pigments in 
the encaustic process. 

9 



PRUDENTIUS 

duceret in faciem, sociique poematis arte 

aucta coloratis auderet ludere fucis. 

sic unum sectantur iter, sic inania rerum ^ 45 

somnia concipiunt et Homerus et acer Apelles 

et Numa, cognatumque volunt pigmenta, Camenae, 

idola, convaluit fallendi trina potestas. 

haec si non ita sunt, edatur, cur sacra vobis 

ex tabulis cerisque poetica fabula praestat ? 50 

cur Berecyntiacus perdit truncata sacerdos 

inguina, cum pulchrum poesis castraverit Attin ? 

cur etiam templo Triviae lucisque sacratis 

cornipedes arcentur equi, cum Musa pudicum 

raptarit iuvenem volucri per litora curru, 55 

idque etiam paries tibi versicolorus adumbret ? 

desine, si pudor est, gentilis ineptia, tandem 

res incorporeas simulatis fingere membris, 

desine terga hominis plumis obducere : frustra 

fertur avis mulier magnusque eadem dea vultur. 60 

vis decorare tuum, ditissima Roma, senatum ? 

suspende exuvias armis et sanguine captas, 

^ Some MSS. have sic cassa figuris. 



" A celebrated Greek painter who lived in the second half 
of the 4th century B.C. He was portrait-painter to Alexander 
the Great (c/. Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXXV, 79-97, Horace, Epistles, 
II, 1, 237 ff.). 

* The early king to whom tradition ascribed the foundation 
of Roman religious institutions. 

" The young Attis (whose story is the subject of Catullus's 
63rd poem) is connected with Cybele (c/. I, 187), to whom 
Berecyntus, a mountain in Phrygia, was sacred. 

"* Diana, so called because of her identification with Hecate, 
who was associated with cross-roads. 

« Hippolytus. He incurred the resentment of his steji- 
mother Phaedra and she accused him to his father Theseus, 

10 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

making bold to depict it fancifully with coloured 
paints and aided by the art of her partner poetry. 
In this way Homer and bold Apelles * and Numa * 
follow the same path and conceive baseless visions, 
and painting, poetry, and idolatry have a kindred 
aim. The power of deception grew strong in three 
forms. If it is not so, let it be stated why poets* 
tales furnish you with objects of worship from 
pictures and waxen figures. Why does the Bere- 
cyntian priest mutilate and destroy his loins, after 
poetry has castrated the fair Attis ?" Why also are 
horny-hoofed horses excluded from the precinct of the 
goddess of the cross-ways ^ and her consecrated 
groves, after the Muse has carried away a chaste 
youth « along the shore in a flying chariot, and a 
wall too gives you a picture of the scene delineated in 
many colours./ Cease, silly pagan, if you have any 
modesty, cease at last to model incorporeal things in 
counterfeit bodies ? ; cease to cover a human back 
with feathers ; it is in vain that a woman passes as a 
bird, a great vulture and a goddess both in one. 
Would'st thou, wealthy Rome, adorn thy senate- 
house ? Hang up the spoils that arms and blood have 

who banished him under a curse. While riding away in a 
chariot he was killed because Poseidon (Neptune) sent a sea- 
monster which frightened his horses so that he was thrown 
from the chariot and dragged along. In Virgil's Aeneid, VII, 
765-780, from which in lines 53 and 54 Prudentius quotes 
almost verbatim, there is a story that Hippolytus was restored 
to life and sheltered by Diana in her grove at Aricia in Latium, 
from which horses were excluded because they had caused his 
death. 

f Wall-paintings in houses often represented scenes from 
the Greek mythology. 

' I.e. to personify an idea, such as that of victory, and give 
it wings like a bird's. 



PRUDENTIUS 

conger e caesorum victrix diademata regum, 
frange repulsorum foeda ornamenta deorum : 
tunc tibi non terris tantum victoria parta 65 

sed super astra etiam media servabitur aede." 

talia principibus dicta interfantibus ille 
prosequitur magnisque tubam concentibus inflat ; 
allegat morem veterem, nil dulcius esse 
affirmat solitis populosque hominesque teneri 70 

lege sua. " sicut variae nascentibus," inquit, 
" contingunt pueris animae, sic urbibus adfert 
hora diesque suus, cum primum moenia surgunt, 
aut fatum aut genium, cuius moderamine regnent." 
addit et arcanum rerum verique latebras 75 

prosperitate aliqua deprendi posse secundi 
per documenta boni, si sint felicia quae quis 
experiendo probet : cessisse parentibus omne 
idolium semper feliciter et pede dextro. 
enumerat longi vim temporis, excitat ipsam 80 

crinibus albentem niveis et fronte vietam, 
ore reposcentem querulo sua numina Romam. 
" libera sum, liceat proprio mihi vivere more, 
ecquis erit, qui mille meos reprehenderit annos ? 
uno omnes sub sole siti vegetamur eodem 85 

aere, communis cunctis viventibus aura, 
sed qui sit qualisque Deus, diversa secuti 
quaerimus atque viis longe distantibus unum 
imus ad occultum. suus est mos cuique genti, 

13 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

won ; heap up, to mark thy victory, the crowns of 
kings thou hast slain ; but break the hideous orna- 
ments that represent gods thou hast cast away. 
Then will be preserved for thee in the midst of the 
temple the memory of victory not gained on earth 
only but beyond the stars." 

When our leaders interpose such words he goes on 
and blows the trumpet with loud music, adducing 
long-established custom, asserting that nothing is 
more agreeable than the wonted ways, and that 
nations and men are subject to laws of their own. 
" Just as children," he says, " have different spirits 
allotted to them at their birth, so to each city, 
when first its walls rise up, its own hour and day 
bring a destiny or genius under whose government it 
shall bear rule."" And he says further that the 
mystery of things, the secrets of truth, can be 
grasped through some success men meet with, by 
means of the proofs of blessing, if what a man puts to 
the test of trial has a happy outcome ; and that for 
our fathers the worship of idols ever brought happy 
and prosperous results. He recites the force it gains 
through a long period of time, and calls up Rome 
herself, with snow-white hair and wrinkled brow, in 
plaintive tones calling for the return of her divinities : 
" I am free ; let me live after my own fashion. Will 
there be any to cast up to me my thousand years ? 
We all draw life from the same atmosphere under the 
same sun, all living beings share the same air; 
but we follow different paths when we inquire into the 
being and nature of God, and by ways far apart 
approach the same secret; every race has its own 

« (7/. Symmachus, 5 and 8. 

13 



PRUDENTIUS 

per quod iter properans eat ad tam grande pro- 
fundum." 
his- tam magnificis tantaque fluentibus arte 91 

respondit vel sola Fides doetissima priraum 
pandere vestibulum verae ad penetralia sectae. 
nam cum divinis agimus de rebus et ilium, 
qui vel principio caruit vel fine carebit 95 

quique chao anterior fuerit mundumque crearit, 
coniectare animo contendimus, exigua est vis 
humani ingenii tantoque angusta labori. 
quippe minor natura aciem si intendere temptet 
acrius ae penetrare Dei secreta supremi, 100 

quis dubitet vieto fragilem lassescere visu 
vimque fatigatae mentis sub pectore parvo 
turbari invalidisque hebetem subcumbere curis ? 
sed facilis fidei via provocat omnipotentem 
credere qui bona non tantum praesentia donat, 105 
sed ventura etiam longisque intermina saeclis 
promittit, ne totus earn resolutus inane 
in nihilum pereamque brevem post luminis usum. 
muneris auctorem ^ ipso de munere pendas : 
aeterna aeternus tribuit, mortalia confert 110 

mortalis, divina Deus, peritura caducus. 
omnia quae tempus peragit quaeque exitus aufert 
vilia sunt brevitate sui, nee digna perenni 
largitore, cui propria est opulentia numquam 
desinere idque homini dare quod non desinat umquam. 

^ Some MSS. have auctores. 



" lb. 9 and 10. Symmachus argues that the claim of the 
old religion is supported by its long history; it was the old 
gods who saved Rome from Hannibal and the Gauls ; and in 
the spirit of syncretistic monotheism which was characteristic 

14 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

custom, and that is the line along which it must 
hasten to reach the great mystery." <* 

To these fine words flowing with such art Faith 
has given the answer, for she before all has skill to 
open the first approach to the heart of the true belief. 
For when we are concerned with divine things and 
striving to reach a conception of Him who was without 
beginning and will be without end, who existed before 
the primeval darkness and created the world, the 
force of the human mind is too petty and limited for 
so great a task. If the lesser nature seek to strain its 
gaze too keenly and to penetrate the mystery of the 
most high God, who would question that its vision is 
beaten, its frail power flags, the working of the tired 
intellect is thrown out in the little mind and is dulled 
and fails under its feeble efforts ? But the easy way 
of faith calls to believe that the Almighty is He who 
not only grants us blessings for the present time but 
promises blessings to come, that vdll last without end 
through the long ages, so that I shall not wholly pass 
away into empty nothingness and perish after a brief 
enjoyment of the light. Estimate the giver of the 
gift by the gift itself: it is the eternal who gives the 
eternal, the mortal who bestows mortal things ; 
divine gifts are from God, transitory gifts from one 
whose life is fleeting. All things which time brings 
to a conclusion, which have their end and disappear, 
are made of little worth by their own brief existence ; 
they are unworthy of an everlasting giver to whom 
belongs the plenitude to live without end and give to 
man that which shall be without end. For if God 

of the period he suggests that pagans and Christians are really 
each in their own way seeking contact with the same divine 
power. 

15 



PRUDENTIUS 

nam si corruptum corrumpendumve Deus quid 116 
praestat habetque nihil quod sit pretiosius istis, 
pauper et infirmus et summo indignus honore 
et non omnipotens sed inanis numinis umbra est. 
hac ratione Fides sapienter conicit, immo 120 

nondubitat verumesse Deum, qui quod sumus et quod 
vivimus inlaesum semper fore, si mereamur, 
nos sperare iubet. " caelestia si placet," inquit, 
" scandere, terrenas animo depellite curas. 
nam quantum subiecta situ tellus iacet infra 125 

dividiturque ab humo convexi regia caeli, 
tatntum vestra meis distant mundana futuris, 
dira bonis, scelerata piis, tenebrosa serenis. 
quidquid obire potest fugiatis censeo, quidquid 
naturae ratione capit vitium atque senescit 130 

pro nihilo, in nihilum quia sunt reditura, putetis. 
cuncta equidem quae gignit humus, quae continet, 

ipse 
principio institui nitidoque insignia mundo 
ornamenta dedi speciosaque semina finxi. 
sed tamen esse modum volui parcisque fruenda 135 
moribus indulsi, quantum moribundus et aeger 
corporis ac vitae volucris sibi posceret usus ; 
non ut captus homo studiis et inaniter ardens 
duceret omne bonum positum in dulcedine rerum 
et specie tenui quas currere tempore iussi ; 140 

atque aevum statui, sub quo generosa probarem 
pectora, ne torpens et non exercita virtus 
robur enervatum gereret sine laude palaestrae.^ 

1 In place of 143 two of Bergman' a Class B MSS. have 

enervare suum corrupta per otia robur 
posset et in nullo luctamine pigra iaceret. 

(" might unman its strength in degenerate idleness and lie 
inactive, engaging in no struggle.") In some MSS. of both 

16 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

provides aught that is decayed or doomed to decay 
and possesses nothing that is more precious than 
these, then is He poor and weak and undeserving 
of supreme honour, not all-powerful but a vain 
shadow of godhead. In such wise Faith wisely infers, 
nay, is confident, that the true God is one who bids 
us hope that our being and life will be for ever un- 
impaired if we are deserving. " If," He says, " you 
would ascend to heaven, cast from your hearts the 
cares of earth. For as far as the earth beneath lies 
below and the court of the vaulted heaven is separated 
from the world, so far are your worldly things from 
my eternal things, curses from blessings, sin from 
goodness, darkness from the clear light of day. Shun, 
I counsel you, all that can perish ; all that by reason 
of its nature admits of defect and decline reckon as 
nothing, since it is destined to return to nothingness. 
All that earth produces or contains I myself estab- 
lished in the beginning ; I gave the smiling world its 
splendid dress and created the beauteous things that 
grow in it ; yet I willed that there be a due measure 
and granted them to be enjoyed frugally, only as 
far as the frail, mortal needs of the body and its 
fleeting life required, not that man being caught by 
desires in vain eagerness should reckon that all good 
lies in the sweetness and unsubstantial show of 
things which I have ordained to run their course in 
time ; and I have set a period in which to prove noble 
hearts, lest their goodness being dormant and 
unexercised should wield a strength that was nerve- 
less, winning no credit in the training-school. For the 

dosses both versions are in the text. The two oldest M8S. are 
toanting. 

17 



PRUDENTIUS 

inlecebrosus enim sapor est et pestifer horum, 
quae, dum praetereunt, miro oblectamine mentes 145 
inplicitas vinctasque tenent. vincenda voluptas, 
elaqueanda animi constantia, ne retinaclis 
mollibus ae lentis nexa et captiva prematur. 
luctandum summis conatibus, inter acerba 
sectandum virtutis iter, ne suavia fluxae 150 

condicionis amet, nimium ne congerat aurum, 
ne varios lapidum cupide spectare colores 
ambitiosa velit, ne se popularibus auris 
ostentet pulchroque inflata tumescat honore, 
ne natale solum, patrii ne iugera ruris 155 

tendat et externos animum diiFundat in agros, 
et ne corporeis addicat sensibus omne 
quod vult aut quod agit, ne praeferat utile iusto, 
spemque in me omnem statuat numquam peritura 
quae dedero, longoque die mea dona trahenda." 
haec igitur spondente Deo quis fortis et acer 161 
virtutisque capax breve quidque perennibus in se 
praetulerit ? vel quis sapiens potiora putarit 
gaudia membrorum quam vivae praemia mentis ? 164 
nonne hominem ac pecudem distantia separat 

una, 
quod bona quadrupedum ante oculos sita sunt, ego 

contra 
spero quod extra aciem longum servatur in aevum ? 
nam si tota mihi cum corpore vita peribit 
nee poterit superesse meum post funera quidquam, 
quis mihi regnator caeli, quis conditor orbis, 170 

quis Deus aut quae iam merito metuenda potestas ? 
ibo per inpuros fervente libidine luxus, 
i8 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

savour of these things is seductive and baleful ; while 
they pass they entwine men's minds with a strange 
delight and hold them bound. Pleasure must be 
overcome and strength of will unfettered, lest the 
grip of the soft, tenacious bonds hold it down in 
captivity. Man must struggle with all his might and 
follow the path of virtue amid hardness, so that in his 
heart he shall not love the pleasantness of a situation 
that is transitory, gather too much gold, seek in vain- 
glory to gaze with eager eyes on stones of different 
hues, display himself to the winds of popular favour 
and be puifed up and swell with pride in the grandeur 
of office, extend the soil of his birth, the acres of land 
he inherited, and let his desire flow on to other 
men's fields, subject all his wishes and actions to 
his bodily senses and set advantage before righteous- 
ness ; but shall place in me all his hope that what I 
give will never pass away, that my gifts will endure 
through length of time." When God, then, makes 
such promises, what man of courage and vigour and 
capacity for goodness would prefer the shortlived to 
what is eternal in him ? What man of sense would 
fancy that the pleasures of his body are more impor- 
tant than the prizes his living soul can win ? Is not 
the only difference that marks off man from the beast 
of the field that the good things of the four-footed 
creatures lie before their eyes, whereas I hope for 
something which is beyond my sight and reserved 
for a distant day ? For if my life is to perish wholly 
with my body and naught of mine can survive my 
death, what ruler of heaven, what creator of the 
world, what God or power have I any longer cause to 
fear? I shall go with burning passion from one 
unclean indulgence to another, defile marriage-beds 

19 



PRUDENTIUS 

incestabo toros, sacrum calcabo pudorem, 

infitiabor habens aliquod sine teste propinqui 

depositum, tenues avidus spoliabo elientes, 175 

longaevam perimam magico cantamine matrem 

(tardat anus dominum dilata morte secundum) 

nee formido malum, falluntur publica iura ; 

lex armata sedet, sed nescit crimen opertum ; 

aut, si res pateat, iudex corrumpitur auro. 180 

rara reos iusta percellit poena securi. 

sed quid ego haec meditor ? revocat Deus ecce severa 

maiestate minax, negat interitura meorum 

per mortem monumenta operum. " non occidet,'' 

inquit, 
" interior qui spirat homo ; luet ille perenne 1 85 

supplicium quod subiectos male rexerit artus. 
nee mihi difficile est liquidam circumdare flammis 
naturam ; quamvis perflabilis ilia feratur 
more noti, capiam tamen et tormenta adhibebo 
ipse incorporeus ac spirituum sator unus. 190 

quin et corporibus parilis consortia poenae 
decernam, possum quoniam renovare favillas 
antiquam in faciem, nee desperanda potestas : 
qui potui formare novum, reparabo peremptum. 
non desunt exempla meae virtutis in ipsis 195 

seminibus : natura docet revirescere cuncta 
post obitum. siccantur enim pereunte vigore 
quo vixere prius : tunc sicca et mortua sulcis 
aut foveis mandata latent et more sepulcri 
obruta de tumulis redivivo germine surgunt. 200 

20 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

and trample on sacred modesty, deny something a 
kinsman has left in trust with me without a witness, 
though I have it all the while, greedily rob humble 
dependents, put an end to a long-lived mother 
with a spell, for by putting off her death the old 
dame is delaying the next owner's succession ; and I 
have no fear of punishment, for the public statutes 
are cheated ; the law sits armed but knows nothing 
of the crime that is done in secret ; or if the fact 
should be disclosed the judge is bribed with gold, 
and it is seldom that retribution smites the guilty 
with the axe they merit. But why do I meditate 
such acts ? There is God calling me back with the 
menace of his stern majesty ; He tells me that the 
record of my works will not be done away by my 
death. " The man who breathes within," He 
says, " will not die ; he will pay an everlasting penalty 
for misguiding the body placed under his control. 
It is not hard for me to set a spiritual being in the 
midst of flames. Though being incorporeal it speed 
like the wind, I shall catch it none the less and tor- 
ment it, for I myself am incorporeal and the only 
creator of spirits. And I shall ordain fellowship in 
the like punishment for bodies, since I can bring 
back the ashes into their old shape, and I have no 
cause to give up my power for lost. I who was able 
to create the new shall restore the dead. There are 
examples of my power in the very seeds : nature 
teaches them all to come to life again after death. 
For they are dried up by the loss of the strength 
whereby they lived before ; but then, dried up and 
dead, they are committed to furrow or trench and lie 
there unseen, and though they are buried as in a grave 
they rise from their tombs and sprout with life anew. 

21 



PRUDENTIUS 

numquid nosse potes, vel coniectare, quis istud 
tam sellers opifex struat aut quae vis agat intus ? 
nil vos, o miseri, physicorum dogmata fallant. 
en ego gignendi Dominus ac restituendi 
quod periit fluxitque potens, arentia quaeque 205 
in veteres formas aut flore aut fronde reduco ; 
idque ipsum quandoque homini facturus, inani 
surgat ut ex cinere structuraque pristina constet, 
quae mihi pro meritis vel per tormenta rependat 
crimina vel summae virtutis in arce coruscet 210 

non peritura dehinc quacumque in sorte manebit. 
interea, dum mixta viget substantia in unum, 
sit memor auctoris proprii, veneretur et oret 
artificem submissa suum. non condidit alter 
halantis animae figmentum et corporis alter, 215 

nee bona praesentis vitae numerosa gubernant 
numina ; non alius segetes et spicea farra 
subpeditat deus ast ^ alius dat musta racemis 
purpureumque gravi fundit de palmite sucum. 
ipse ego sum, virides oleas pinguescere bacis 220 
qui facio, Graia quas Pallade fingitis ortas, 
et qui Lucinas tribuo nascentibus horas. 
duplex lege mea per mutua foedera sexus 
gignere amat subolem generisque propagine gaudet ; 
quem vos lascivis violatis amoribus ignem 225 

et stupra vestra deae Veneris praetexitis umbra, 
unus ego elementa rego, nee mole laboris, 
ut miser infirmusve aliquis fragilisve, fatigor. 
lux inmensa mihi est et non resolubilis aetas 
sensibus et vestris haud intellecta vetustas. 230 

^ aut Bergman, with some M88. of both dosses. 

" Athena (Minerva), patron-goddess of Athens, where the 
olive was regarded as her gift. 

22 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

Canst thou know or infer what cunning workman it is 
that contrives this, or what force it is that acts within 
them ? Poor mortals, let not the teachings of science 
deceive you. Lo, I, the Lord of creation, able to 
restore that which has perished and passed away, 
bring back all withered things to their old forms in 
flower or leaf; and one day I shall do the same for 
man, so that he shall rise from his lifeless ashes and 
his former frame be established, either, according to 
its deserts, to make payment to me through torment 
for its sins, or to shine in the seat of supreme goodness, 
and never again to die, in whatever state it shall 
remain. Meanwhile, as long as the union of twofold 
being lives, let it remember its creator and humbly 
worship and pray to its maker. It was not one who 
created the breathing soul and another the body, 
nor do manifold powers direct the blessings of the 
present life ; it is not one God that provides corn- 
crops and the wheat with its ears, while another gives 
wine in the clusters of grapes, making the red juice 
flow from the laden vine-branch. I am He who 
makes the green olive-trees rich with their fruits, 
which you imagine took their origin from Grecian 
Pallas," and assigns to babes for their birth Lucina's 
hours. ** It is under my law that the two sexes in 
bond of union gladly beget young and rejoice in the 
continuance of their kind ; but you dishonour this 
passion with wanton amours and screen your lewd 
acts under cover of your goddess Venus. I alone 
rule the elements, and I do not grow weary with the 
heavy toil like some poor weak mortal. I have 
infinite light, imperishable life, length of days which 
your thoughts cannot comprehend ; therefore I need 

* Lucina (or Juno Lucina) was goddess of birth. 

23 



PRUDENTIUS 

inde ministeriis ad tot moderamina mundi 
non egeo, nee participes sociosve require, 
porro autem angelicas legiones, quas mea fecit 
dextera, nosse meum est, et quae natura creatis 
subsistat qualesque mihi serventur ad usus. 235 

tu me praeterito meditaris numina mille, 
quae simules parere meis virtutibus, ut me 
per varias partes minuas, cui nulla recidi 
pars aut forma potest, quia sum substantia simplex, 
nee pars esse queo. solis divisio rebus 240 

conpositis factisque subest ; me nemo creavit, 
ut scindi valeam cunctorum conditor unus. 
crede, quod ex nihilo formavi, pars mea non est. 
quare age, mortalis, soli mihi construe templum, 
meque unum venerare Deum. caementa remitto, 
et quae saxa Paros secat et quae Punica rupis, 246 
quae viridis Lacedaemon habet maculosaque Synna ; 
nativum nemo scopuli mihi dedicet ostrum. 
templum mentis amo, non marmoris : aurea in illo 
fundamenta manent fidei ; structura nivali 250 

consurgit pietate nitens, tegit ardua culmen 
iustitia, interius spargit sola picta rubenti 
flore pudicitiae pudor almus et atria servat. 
haec domus apta mihi est, haec me pulcherrima 

sedes 
accipit, aeterno caelestique hospite digna, 255 

nee novus hie locus est ; fluxit mea gloria in artus 
et lux vera Dei. Deus inlustravit alumnam 
materiem, corpusque parens habitabile fecit 



" Augustus claimed that he found Rome a city of brick and 
left it a city of marble. Under the emperors a very great 
variety of marbles, porphyries and other coloured stones was 
used, generally for facing the walls of temples and other 

24 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

no aids for all this government of the world and 
want no partners nor associates. And further it is 
mine to know the legions of angels whom my hand 
created, the nature that subsists in my creatures, and 
the purposes for which I have them reserved. But 
thou dost pass me by and think of a thousand deities, 
pretending that they manifest themselves in my 
powers, so that by division into parts thou dost 
lessen me, from whom no part or form can be cut 
away, because my being is single and I cannot be a 
part. Only things put together and made are 
capable of division ; none created me so that I should 
be able to be parted, I the one creator of all. Be 
assured that what I have formed out of nothing is 
no part of me. Come then, O mortal, build a temple 
to me alone and worship me as the one God. I seek 
no quarried stones, neither the rock that Paros or the 
Punic cliff cuts, nor that which green Lacedaemon or 
stained Synna possesses ; let no man consecrate 
natural red stone to me.* I love a temple of the 
heart, not one of marble. In it stand firm the 
golden foundations of faith, the lofty building shines 
with holiness snow-white, righteousness covers its 
roof high up, and within it life-giving purity colours 
the floor with blushing flowers of modesty scattered 
over it, and keeps the courts. This is the house that 
befits me, the beauteous abode which I enter, worthy 
of its everlasting heavenly guest. Nor is it a new 
seat. My glory and the true light of God flowed into 
the flesh; God enlightened the material element 
which He nurtured, its creator made the body a 
fit dwelling for Himself, so that He could rest in a 

public buildings, and for floors. The marble from Synna (or 
Synnada, in Phrygia) was white with purple veins. 

25 



PRUDENTIUS 

ipse sibi, placito ut posset requiescere templo. 
condideram perfectum hominem ; spectare supema 
mandaram totis conversum sensibus in me 261 

recto habitu celsoque situ et sublime tuentem ; 
sed despexit humum seque inclinavit ad orbis 
divitias pepulitque meum de pectore numen. 
restituendus erat mihimet ; summissus in ilium 265 
Spiritus ipse meus descendit et edita limo 
viscera divinis virtutibus informavit, 
iamque hominem adsumptum summus Deus in dei- 

tatem 
transtulit ac nostro docuit recalescere cultu." 

scire velim praecepta Patris quibus auribus haec tu 
accipias, Italae censor doctissime gentis. 271 

an veterem tantum morem ratione relicta 
eligis et dici id patitur sapientis acumen 
ingeniumque viri? " potior mihi pristinus est mos 
quam via iustitiae, pietas quam prodita caelo, 275 
quamque fides veri, rectae quam regula sectae." 
si, quidquid rudibus mundi nascentis in annis 
mos habuit, sancte colere ac servare necesse est, 
omne revolvamus sua per vestigia saeclum 
usque ad principium, placeat damnare gradatim 280 
quidquid posterius successor repperit usus. 
orbe novo imlli subigebant arva coloni : 
quid sibi aratra volunt ? quid cura superflua rastri ! 
ilignis melius saturatur glandibus alvus. 
primi homines cuneis scindebant fissile lignum : 285 

" The censors in earlier times exercised a cura viorum, which 
meant responsibility for seeing that established customs and 
ways of behaviour were observed. It amounted in reality to 
a vaguely defined control of morals. 

* The poets were fond .of depicting primitive man and his 
life, and he is often represented as eating acorns. At lines 

26 



> 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

temple that was acceptable to Him. I had created 
man perfect ; I had bade him look at the thing s on 
high, turning fowardTme wilh all his thoughts, stan- 
ding erect in upright posture and keeping his 
eyes on heaven ; but he looked down on the ground, 
stooped to the world's riches, and drove my divinity 
from his heart. He had to be restored to me ; my 
Spirit lowered himself, and coming down into him 
shaped with divine powers the flesh that was made 
from clay, and now God on high has taken on 
humanity and transformed man into godhead, and 
taught him to feel again the warmth of reverence 
for me." 

I would fain know with what ears you receive these 
teachings of the Father, O most learned censor " 
of the Italian race. Do you lay reason aside and 
choose only the ancient usage ? Does a wise man's 
keen intelligence allow him to say " The old custom 
is to be preferred in my eyes to the path of righteous- 
ness, the goodness revealed from heaven, the sure 
confidence in truth, the rule of right belief " ? If we 
must needs scrupulously observe and keep up all 
that was customary in the rude years of the nascent 
world, let us roll all time back on its tracks right up 
to the beginning, and decide to condemn step by 
step all that successive experience has found out in 
later ages. When the world was new no cultivators 
brought the land into subjection.* What are 
ploughs good for, or the useless labour of the harrow ? 
Better to sate the belly with acorns from the oak 
trees. The first men used to split their timber with 

282 and 285 Prudentius has close verbal reminiscences of 
Virgil (Georgics, I, 125 and 144), and at 288-9 of Juvenal 
{Satires, 6, 2-3), where both are referring to primitive times. 

27 



PRUDENTIUS 

decoquat in massam fervens strictura secures 
rursus et ad proprium restillet vena metallum. 
induvias caesae peeudes et frigida parvas 
praebebat spelunca domos : redeamus ad antra, 
pellibus insutis hirtos sumamus amictus. 290 

inmanes quondam populi feritate subacta 
edomiti iam triste fremant iterumque ferinos 
in mores redeant atque ad sua prisca recurrant. 
praecipitet Scythica iuvenis pietate vietum 
votivo de ponte patrem (sic mos fuit olim), 295 

caedibus infantum fument Saturnia sacra 
flebilibusque truces resonent vagitibus arae. 
ipsa casas fragili texat gens Romula culmo : 
sic tradunt habitasse Remum. regalia faeno 
fulcra supersternant aut pelle Libystidis ursae 300 
conpositam chlamydem villoso corpore gestent. 
talia Trinacrius ductor vel Tuscus habebant. 
Roma antiqua sibi non constat versa per aevum 

" The word strictura is explained by ancient writers in some- 
what different ways. It is perhaps properly the mould into 
which the molten metal flows from the furnace and in which it 
solidifies. Prudentius suggests that the axes may as well go 
backwards through the processes of manufacture and smelting. 

* A reference to the old phrase sexagenarios de ponte, the 
meaning of which was a matter of dispute among scholars in 
ancient times, as it still is. It seems to have been a popular 
belief that at one time men of sixty were actually thrown from 
the old wooden bridge {pons svblicius) at Rome into the Tiber ; 
and the strange ceremony performed annually in May, when 
puppets called Argei were thrown from the bridge, was inter- 
preted as a humane substitute for the original sacrifice. For 
discussion of ancient and modern theories see Sir James 
Frazer's edition of Ovid's Fasti (note on V, 621) and H. J. 
Rose's edition of Plutarch's Roman Questions, p. 98. 

28 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

wedges ; let our axes be reduced in the furnace from 
a hot moulding into a lump of metal, the iron 
dripping back again into its own ore." Slaughtered 
oxen used to provide clothing, and a chilly cave a 
little home ; so let us go back to the caverns and put 
on shaggy wraps of unsewn skins. Let nations that 
once were barbarous but had their savagery subdued 
and became civilised go back again to their harsh 
cries and their inhuman ways, returning to their 
former state. Let the young man, with a filial piety 
worthy of Scythia, fling his wrinkled old father as an 
offering from the bridge, for such was once the 
custom.^ Let the rites of Saturn reek with the 
slaughter of infants '^ and the cruel altars resound 
with their weeping and wailing. Let the very race 
of Romulus weave huts of fragile straw (such they 
say ^ was the dwelling of Remus), spread their royal 
couches with hay, or wear on their hairy bodies a 
cloak made of an African bearskin. Such things the 
Trinacrian * or the Tuscan / leader used^ to have. 
Rome does not stay as she was long ago; she has 

" This had never happened at Rome ; but human sacrifice 
had been offered to a Phoenician deity (worshipped at Car- 
thage) whom the Greeks and Romans identified with Kronos 
and Saturn. 

^ The " casa Romuli," a hut of straw with a thatched roof, 
which stood on the south-west corner of the Palatine Hill at 
Rome, was an object of great veneration, carefuUy restored 
when it was damaged by fire. 

* Sicilian. The reference is to Acestes in the Aeneid (V, 
36-37). 

/ Evander {Aeneid, VIII, 368). Tuscus is not a correct 
description of him, but at his city of Pallanteum he is 
" bounded by the Tuscan river " (the Tiber, Aeneid, VIII, 
473) and is allied with the Etruscans, who have offered to 
make him their king {ib., 505 ff.). 

29 



PRUDENTIUS 

et mutata sacris, ornatu, legibus, armis. 

multa colit quae non coluit sub rege Quirino ; 305 

instituit quaedam melius, nonnulla refugit, 

et raorem variare suum non destitit, et quae 

pridem condiderat iura in contraria vertit. 

quid mihi tu ritus solitos, Romane senator, 

obiectas cum scita patrum populique frequenter 310 

instabilis placiti sententia flexa novarit ? 

nunc etiam quotiens solitis decedere prodest 

praeteritosque habitus cultu damnare recenti, 

gaudemus conpertum aliquid tandemque retectum, 

quod latuit ; tardis semper processibus aucta 315 

crescit vita hominis et longo proficit usu. 

sic aevi mortalis habet se mobilis ordo, 

sic variat natura vices : infantia repit, 

infirmus titubat pueri gressusque animusque, 

sanguine praecalido fervet nervosa iuventa, 320 

mox stabilita venit maturi roboris aetas ; 

ultima consiliis melior, sed viribus aegra, 

corpore subcumbit mentem purgata senectus. 

his genus humanum per dissona tempora duxit 

curriculis aevum mutabile, sic hebes inter 325 

primitias mersumque solo ceu quadrupes egit ; ^ 

mox tenerum docili ingenio iamque artibus aptum 

noscendis varia rerum novitate politum est ; 

inde tumens vitiis calidos adolevit in annos, 330 

donee decocto solidaret robore vires. 

^ Some MSS. of class B have 

mersumque solo titubavit et inetar 
quadrupedis pueri lactantia viscera traxit. 

(" it went unsteadily and like a child on all-fours dragged its 
infant body along "). The two oldest MSS. are wanting. 

30 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

changed as time passed, making alterations in her 
worship, dress, laws, and arms. She practises much 
that she did not practise when Quirinus " was her 
king. Some things she has ordered for the better, 
some she has abandoned; she has never ceased to 
change her usage, and has turned long-established 
laws to the opposite. Why, senator of Rome, do 
you bring up accustomed usages against me, when 
many a time a decision has not stood fast and a 
change of mind with regard to it has altered decrees 
of senate and people ? Even now, whenever it is 
for our benefit to depart from wonted ways and reject 
manners of the past for a newer style, we are glad 
that something which was unknown before has been 
discovered and at last brought to light ; ever by slow 
advances does human life grow and develop, im- 
proving by long experience. Such is the changing 
succession of ages in man, such, one after another, 
the variations of his nature. Infancy creeps ; the 
child's step, like its purpose, is weak and unsteady ; 
vigorous youth burns with hot blood ; then comes the 
steadfast age of ripe strength ; and last of all old age, 
better in counsel but feeble in energy, declines in 
body though its mind is cleared. By just such stages 
has the race of men led its changeful life through 
differing periods of time. Unintelligent in its first 
efforts and sunk on the ground, it lived as it were on all 
fours ; then in its boyhood, having a mind that 
could learn and becoming capable of acquiring skills, 
it attained refinement by trying different novelties. 
Next it grew up into the hot years of passion, swelling 
the while with corruptions, till it worked off the excess 
of vigour and made its strength firm. Now the time 

" Romulus became the god Quirinus. 

31 



PRUDENTIUS 

tempus adest ut iam sapiat divina, serenae 
mentis consilio vivacius abdita sellers 
quaerere et aeternae tandem invigilare saluti. 
quamquam, si tantus amor est et cura vetusti 335 
moris et a prisco placet haud discedere ritu, 
exstat in antiquis exemplum nobile libris, 
iam tunc diluvii sub tempore vel prius uni 
inservisse Deo gentem quae prima recentes 
incoluit terras vacuoque habitavit in orbe ; 340 

unde genus ducit nostrae porrecta propago 
stirpis et indigenae pietatis iura reformat, 
sed quia Romanis loquimur de cultibus, ipsum 
sanguinis Hectorei populum probo tempore longo 
non multos coluisse deos rarisque sacellis 345 

contentum paucas posuisse in collibus aras. 
innumeros post deinde deos virtute subactis 
urbibus et claris peperit sibi Roma triumphis ; 
inter fumantes templorum armata ruinas 
dextera victoris simulacra hostilia cepit 350 

et captiva domum venerans ceu numina vexit. 
hoc signum rapuit bimaris de strage Corinthi, 
illud ab incensis in praedam sumpsit Athenis, 
quasdam victa dedit capitis Cleopatra canini 
effigies, quasdam domitis Hammonis harenis 355 

Syrtica cornutas facies habuere tropaea. 
Roma triumphantis quotiens ducis inclyta cunnim 
plausibus excepit, totiens altaria divum 
addidit et spoliis sibimet nova numina fecit — 
numina, quae patriis cum moenibus eruta nullum 360 



" The Romans, as being traditionally of Trojan origin. 

' The Egyptians represented Anubis (who figured in the 
ceremonies of Isis; c/. Apuleius, Metamorphoses, XI, 11) 
with the head of a dog, and Ammon with the head or at 

32 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

is come for it to understand things divine, having 
skill, with the thought of a mind unclouded, more 
actively to search out mysteries and at last to 
watch over its eternal well-being. And yet, if there 
is such fondness and solicitude for the old-established 
way and such reluctance to depart from former usage, 
there is the famous instance in the ancient books 
which shows that even at the time of the flood, or 
before it, the people which first inhabited the young 
earth, dwelling in an empty world, already served 
one God. From them our stock in long descent 
draws its birth, and now it restores the rule of their 
native devotion. But since we are speaking of Roman 
worships, I show that the very people of Hector's 
blood ? for many a day did not worship many gods 
but was content with a shrine here and there and set 
but few altars on its hills. Then afterwards as her 
valour conquered cities and won her famous triumphs 
Rome got herself countless gods ; amid the smoking 
ruins of temples the victor's armed right hand took 
her enemies' images and carried them home in 
captivity, worshipping them as divinities. One 
figure she seized from the ruins of Corinth by the 
two seas, another she took for booty from burning 
Athens ; the defeat of Cleopatra gave her some dog- 
headed figures,'' and when she conquered the sands 
of Ammon there were horned heads among her 
trophies from the African desert. Whenever illus- 
trious Rome welcomed with her applause the car 
of a triumphing general, she added altars of gods 
and of her spoils made herself fresh divinities, — 
divinities ! though they could not give protection 

least the horns of a ram (c/. Ovid, Metamorphoses, V, 327- 

328). 

VOL. II. C 



PRUDENTIUS 

praesidium potuere suis adferre sacellis ! 
cernis ut antiqui semper vestigia moris 
gressibus incertis varie titubasse probentur 
adsciscendo deos maioribus ineonpertos, 
seque peregrina sub religione dicasse, 365 

nee ritus servasse suos ? quodcumque sacrorum est 
exulat externumque inimicam venit in urbem. 
frustra igitur solitis, prava observatio, inhaeres : 
non est mos patrius, quern diligis, inproba, non est. 

sed sellers orator ait fataliter urbem 370 

sortitam quonam genio proprium exigat aevum. 
" cunctis nam populis seu moenibus inditur," inquit, 
" aut fatum aut genius nostrarum more animarum, 
quae sub disparili subeunt nova corpora sorte." 
iam primum qui sit genius vel qui status illi 375 

conpetat ignoro, quid possit et unde oriatur, 
spiritus informis sine corpore formave et uUa 
sit species, et quid sapiat, quae munera curet. 
contra animas hominum venis vitalibus intus 



" In this passage and elsewhere there are echoes of Ter- 
tullian's Apologeticus, where c/. chapters 6 and 25. Different 
causes led to the introduction of external cults into Rome. 
Tradition said that in early times the Romans when attacking 
a town would " evoke " its god or goddess, promising equal 
or greater honour at Rome (Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXVIII, 18; 
c/. Livy, V. 21). The Magna Mater was brought to Rome 
from Phrygia at a time of national difficulty, because on con- 
sultation of the Sibylline Books the senate was advised that 
her presence would drive Hannibal out of Italy (Livy, XXIX, 
10). Other worships came in as a result of wider and wider 
contacts with foreign peoples. The Egyptian and other 
oriental cults were long purely private and not recognised by 
the state, and some of them at least were at first forbidden to 
Roman citizens. There is nothing to suggest that Symmachus 
himself was a follower of any of these. It was for the old 
formal rites of the state religion that he stood (c/. Dill, p. 16). 

34 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

to their own shrines, since they were uprooted along 
with their native cities. Do you not see how the 
steps of ancient custom turn out always to have 
wavered this way and that with unsteady gait, 
adopting gods unknown to former generations, how 
it is shown to have devoted itself to some foreign 
religion instead of keeping up its own observances ? 
Every form of worship there is has left its home and 
come as an alien into an enemy's city. It is vain 
therefore, O perverse reverence, to cling to wonted 
rites ; the custom thou lovest, reprobate, is not 
inherited from our forefathers. No, it is not.** 

But our clever orator says that Rome was allotted 
by destiny a genius under which to live her own life.^ 
For all peoples and cities, he says, have imparted 
to them a destiny or genius, just in the way that our 
souls, entering into our bodies when they are new, 
have different characters assigned to them." Now in 
the first place I know not what a genius is or what 
condition of being is appropriate to it, nor what are 
its powers or its origin, whether it is a spirit without 
form or body, or a form or a figure of any kind, what 
are its thoughts, what functions it attends to. On 
the other hand I know that the souls of men spread 

But the oriental cults had gained a great hold because they 
appealed to the emotions as the state religion did not, and 
they were in some ways far more spiritual. 

" See lines 71 ff. 

" The " genius " of each man can be thought of as that 
which makes him what he is, his personality or self conceived 
as a spirit somehow distinguishable (though inseparable) 
from him. Cf. Horace, Epistles, II, 2, 183-189, and see 
Bailey, Phases in the Religion of Ancient Rome, pp. 51-52 and 
150. Similarly the populus Romanus has its genius, which 
makes it what it is as a nation, distinct from other nations. 

35 



PRUDENTIUS 

sic interfusas intellego, sanguis ut ex his 380 

aecipiat motumque levem tenerumque vaporera, 
unde pererratis vegetet praecordia membris, 
frigida succendat, riget arida, dura relaxet. 
sic hominis vitam sibi temperat atque gubernat 
vivida mens, quam tu ficto conponere temptas 385 
murorum ^ genio, qui nusquam est nee fuit umquam. 
quin et corporibus versat mens viva regendis 
summum consilium, fida ut tutacula nudis 
invalidisque paret, metuenda pericula vitet, 
utile prospiciat, varias agitetur ad artes, 390 

consultet cui se domino submittat et orbis 
quem putet auctorem, quern rerum summa sequatur. 
at tuus hie urbis genius, dicas volo, quando 
coepit adhuc parvae primum se infundere Romae ? 
fluxit ab uberibus nemorosa in valle lupinis 395 

infantesque aluit, dum nascitur ipse, gemellos ? 
an cum vulturibus volitans ignota per auras 
umbra repentinam traxit de nube figuram ? 
culminibus summis sedet, an penetralia servat ? 
instituit mores et iura forensia condit, ' 400 

an castrorum etiam fossis intervenit, acres 
cogit ad arma viros, lituis ciet, urget in hostem ? 
quae quis non videat sapientum digna cachinno ? 
fingamus tamen esse aliquam, quae talia curet, 
umbram sive animam, per quam respublica fatum 

^ The true reading is here derived only from certain M88. of 
Bergman's class B. The others have membrorum. 

" There are in these lines indistinct echoes of medical 
theory — the opposite " elements " (hot, cold, moist, dry) and 
the animating pneuma " (see Clifford Allbutt, Greek Medicine 
at Rome). 

* Romulus and Remus, who according to the legend were 
suckled by a she-wolf. 

36 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

through the life-giving veins within them in such 
wise that the blood receives from them its nimble 
motion and gentle heat, whereby passing through 
all the members it quickens the inward parts, warming 
the cold, moistening the dry, loosening the hard. 
In this way the living spirit tempers and regulates 
the life of man for itself "■ ; but you try to compare it 
with an imaginary genius of the walls, which does not 
exist nor ever has existed. And further, for the 
rule of our bodies the living spirit exercises sovereign 
thought, so as to furnish sure protection for their 
nakedness and weakness, avoid dangers which they 
must fear, provide what is to their advantage, bestir 
itself to acquire different skills, take thought to what 
lord it shall subject itself and whom it shall consider 
to be the creator of the world, whom the universe 
obeys. But this genius of the city, of which you 
speak, tell me, pray, when did it first begin to enter 
the little Rome ? Did it flow from the wolf's udders 
in the wooded valley and nourish the twin children ** 
in its own birth ? Or did it fly through the air with 
the vultures," as a spirit unperceived, and suddenly 
take shape from a cloud ? Does it sit on the house- 
tops, or keep to an inner chamber ? Does it appoint 
laws and establish justice in the courts, or does it 
present itself in the ditches of the camp also, gather- 
ing bold warriors to arms, rousing them with the 
trumpet, pressing them against the foe .'' Anyone 
would see that all this deserves the laughter of the 
wise. Yet let us imagine that there is some ghost or 
spirit which attends to such things and through 
which the commonwealth has derived its destiny and 

" The vultures which appeared to Romulus and Remus 
before the building of Rome (Livy, I, 6-7), 

37 



PRUDENTIUS 

hauserit et calidis animetur tota medullis. 406 

cur non haec eadem de religione colenda 
consultat ? cur non suspectat libera caelum ? 
cur sibi praescriptum non commutabile fatum 
ut captiva putat ? genesis cur vincula fingit ? 410 
cui iam nolle licet quod tunc voluisse licebat, 
erroresque abolere suos ac flectere sensus. 
sic septingentis erravit circiter annis 
lubricaque et semper dubitans quae forma placeret 
imperii, quae regnandi foret aequa potestas. 415 

regius exortam iam tunc habuit status urbem 
non sine grandaevis curarum in parte locatis. 
mox proceres de stirpe senum tractasse videmus 
clavum consilii ; plebeias inde catervas 
conlatas patribus mixtim dicionibus acquis 420 

imperitasse diu belloque et pace regendis. 
consule nobilitas viguit, plebs fisa tribuno est. 
displicet hie subito status et bis quina creantur 
summorum procerum fastigia, quos duodeni 
circumstant fasces simul et sua quemque securis. 425 
rursus se geminis reddit ductoribus omnis 
publica res et consulibus dat condere fastos. 
ultima sanguineus turbavit saecla triumvir. 



" A round number for the period from the traditional date 
of the foundation of Rome (753 B.C.) to the establishment of 
the principate by Augustus. 

* The first success of the plebeians in their struggle for 
political equality with the patricians was marked by the 
creation (traditionally in 494 B.C.) of tribuni plebis, whose first 
function was to protect them from oppressive acts of patrician 
magistrates, and whose persons were declared inviolable 
(Livy, II, 33). At this time no plebeian could become consul. 

« The decemviri (451-449 B.C., Livy, III, 32). The fasces, 
bundles of rods enclosing an axe, were the symbol of supreme 

38 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

the life that warms all its being: why does it not 
also take thought about the practice of religion ? 
Why does it not look up in freedom to the heavens ? 
Why, like a prisoner, does it suppose that an un- 
changeable destiny has been laid down for it and 
imagine itself in bondage to its horoscope ? For 
now it is free to refuse what formerly it was free to 
will, and to wipe out its errors and change its senti- 
ments. So for some seven hundred years * it drifted 
unsteadily, never knowing what form of rule it wanted 
or what was the just authority to govern. At the 
time when the city took its rise it was under a 
monarchic constitution, though the elders too were 
partners in administration ; then we see that nobles 
of the senatorial stock handled the helm of policy ; 
next the multitudes of the commons, joined in 
company with the Fathers, ruled long with equal 
authority in the direction both of war and peace, the 
strength of the nobles lying in the consul, while the 
commons placed their trust in the tribune. ** Sud- 
denly this constitution lost favour and ten chief 
dignitaries " were appointed from the greatest nobles, 
with twelve fasces about them, and for each one his 
axe. Once more the commonwealth as a whole put 
itself again into the hands of a pair of leaders and 
allowed consuls to make up the register «^; and the 
final period was troubled by a bloodstained trium- 

authority, typifying the power of scourging and putting to 
death. They were carried by lictors. 

^ Of the names of the yearly magistrates. The consulship 
was restored in 449 b.c. and was open to plebeians from 366. 
Prudentius ignores a further variation : in most of the years 
between 444 and 366 " military tribunes with consular power " 
were substituted for consuls. 

39 



PRUDENTIUS 

fluctibus his olim fatum geniusve animusve 
publicus erravit ; tandem deprendere rectum 430 
doctus iter caput augustum diademate cinxit 
appellans patrem patriae, populi atque senatus 
rectorem, qui militiae sit ductor et idem 
dictator censorque bonus morumque magister, 
tutor opum, vindex scelerum, largitor honorum. 435 
quod si tot rerum gradibus totiens variatis 
consiliis aegre tandem pervenit ad illud 
quod probet ac sancto reverentia publica servet 
foedere, quid dubitat divina agnoscere iura 
ignorata prius sibimet tandemque retecta ? 440 

gratemur, iam non dubitat ; nam subdita Christo 
servit Roma Deo cultus exosa priores. 
Romam dico viros, quos mentem credimus urbis, 
non genium, cuius frustra simulatur imago, 
quamquam cur genium Romae mihi fingitis unum, 
cum portis, domibus, thermis, stabulis soleatis 446 
adsignare suos genios perque omnia membra 
urbis perque locos geniorum milia multa 
fingere, ne propria vacet angulus ullus ab umbra ? 
restat ut et fatum similis dementia cunctis 450 

aedibus inponat, paries ut quisque sub astro 
fundatus structusque suo, qua sorte maneret, 
quando autem rueret, primis acceperit horis. 
adscribunt saxis Lachesis male fortia fila, 
tectorumque trabes fusis pendere rotatis 455 



" Of Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus, formed in 43 B.C. 

* Julius Caesar was dictator, but Augustus in organising 
the principate deliberately avoided the title, nor did he 
assume the censorship, though some of his early successors did 
so. The princeps could in fact exercise the powers of the 
censor without holding the office, 

40 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

virate." Such were the waves on which long ago 
the fate or genius or spirit of the nation drifted to and 
fro. At last it learned to discern the right way and 
encircled an august head with a diadem, calling 
its wearer Father of his Country, director of people 
and senate, one who was to be leader in war, and 
dictator also and good censor ^ and master of morals, 
to guard the nation's wealth, to punish crimes and 
dispense offices of honour. Now if by all these 
stages, changing its mind so often, it attained at 
last only with difficulty to something which the 
nation's respect can approve and keep by inviolate 
covenant, why does it hesitate to recognise the 
authority of God, which was unknown to it before 
and only at last disclosed? Let us wish it joy, for 
it no longer hesitates now. Rome has subjected 
herself to Christ and serves God, loathing her former 
worships. And by Rome I mean her men, in whom we 
believe the city's mind lies ; not her genius, which is a 
vain, unreal fancy. And yet why do I find you pagans 
imagining but one genius of Rome, seeing that you 
are wont to attribute to gates, houses, public baths, 
taverns, each its own genius, and throughout every 
part of the city at every point imagine thousands of 
geniuses, so that no corner shall be without its own 
ghost? It only remains for a like delusion to set a 
destiny too on every building, so that each wall shall 
have been laid and erected under its own star, and 
in its first hours assigned the fortune under which it 
should stand, and the time of its fall. They ascribe 
to stones the weak threads of Lachesis " and believe 
that our roof-timbers depend on her whirling spindles, 

« One of the three Fates (Parcae) who are represented as 
spinning the thread of destiny {e.g. in Catullus, 64, 305 ff.). 

41 



PRUDENTIUS 

credunt, atque ipsis tribuunt decreta tigillis, 
ceu distet cuius stellae sit fraxinus ortu 
eruta, quae summum conscenderet ardua culmen. 
denique nulla hominum res est, nulla actio ihundi, 
cui non fatalem memorent incumbere sortem. 460 
quae quia constituunt, dicant cur condita sit lex 
bis sex in tabulis aut cur rubrica minetur, 
quae prohibet peccare reos, quos ferrea fata 
cogunt ad facinus et inevitabile mergunt. 
quin et velle adigunt pravum insinuantia votum, 
ne liceat miseris vetitum committere nolle. 466 

cedite, si pudor est, gladiumque retundite vestrum» 
aspera nil meritos poenis plectentia iura ; 
antrum carcereum dissolvite, corpora sub quo 
agminis innocui fato peccante tenetis. 470 

nemo nocens, si fata regunt quod vivitur ac fit : 
immo nocens quicumque volens quod non licet 

audet, 
alterutrum quia velle suum est nee fata reatum 
inponunt homini, sed fit reus ipse suopte 
arbitrio, placitumque nefas et facta rependit 475 

inpia suppliciis merito non sorte peremptus. 
quisque putat fato esse locum, sciat omniparentem 
nosse Deum nuUi vetitum fatalibus astris, 
nee mathesis praescripto aliquo pia vota repelli. 
spirat enim maiora animus seque altius efFert 480 
sideribus transitque vias et nubila fati, 



« The codification of customary law, civil and criminal, 
made by the Decemvirs at the middle of the 5th century B.C. 
It was looked upon with great reverence by later ages as the 
foundation of law. Parts of it have survived through being 
quoted by writers. See Warmington, Remains of Old Latin, 
vol. Ill (in this series). 

42 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

attributing her decrees to the very beams ; as if it 
made a difference at what star's rising the ash-tree 
was uprooted, which was to mount high to the roof- 
top. In fact there is no human affair, no process of 
the world, on which they do not say there Hes a 
predestined lot. But since this is what they lay 
down, let them tell us why law was established 
on the Twelve Tables," why a statute which for- 
bids wrong-doing holds out its threats, when it is 
an iron fate that drives wrongdoers to commit the 
crime and plunges them into it perforce. Indeed it 
compels them to will the crime by insinuating into 
them a wicked desire, so that the poor wretches shall 
not have freedom to refuse to do the thing that 
is forbidden. Away with you, if you have any shame ! 
Blunt the edge of your sword, ye cruel laws which 
punish innocent men! Destroy the dungeon where 
you hold imprisoned the persons of a multitude who 
are guiltless, since it is fate that does the wrong! 
No man is guilty if it is fate that rules all life and 
action. No, the guilty man is he who dares of his 
own will to do what is forbidden, because to will one 
or the other is in his own power and it is no fate that 
imposes guilt on man, but he becomes guilty by his 
own choice and pays for the crime he willed and the 
wicked deeds he did, owing the punishment which 
cuts him off to his desert and not to fate. Who- 
soever thinks there is any room for fate, let him 
understand that no man is prevented by a destiny in 
the stars from knowing God the Father of all, and 
that good desires are not driven away by some 
ordinance of astrology. For the soul breathes a 
nobler spirit and rises higher than the stars, passing 
beyond the clouded paths of fate. Under its feet are 

43 



PRUDENTIUS 

et momenta premit pedibus, quaecumque putantur 

figere propositam natali tempore sortem. 

hue ades, omne hominum genus, hue concurrite et 

urbes : 
lux inmensa vocat, factorem noscite vestrum ! 485 
libera secta patet : nil sunt fatalia : vel si 
sunt aliqua, opposito vanescunt irrita Christo. 
sed multi duxere dei per prospera Romam, 
quos colit ob meritum magnis donata triumphis. 
ergo age, bellatrix, quae vis subiecerit, ede, 490 

Europam Libyamque tibi ; die nomina divum. 
luppiter ut Cretae domineris, Pallas ut Argis, 
Cynthius ut Delphis, tribuerunt omine dextro. 
Isis Nilicolas, Rhodios Cytherea reliquit, 
venatrix Ephesum virgo, Mars dedidit Hebrum, 495 
destituit Thebas Bromius, concessit et ipsa 
luno suos Phrygiis servire nepotibus Afros, 
et quam subiectis dominam dea gentibus esse, 
si qua fata sinant, iam turn tenditque fovetque 
iussit Romuleis addictam vivere frenis. 500 

perfidiane deum indigenum cecidere tot urbes, 
destructaeque iacent ipsis prodentibus arae ? 



" Another argument used by Symmachus. See lines 75 fF. 

* Jupiter (Zeus) in the Greek mythology is associated with 
Crete as an infant, being either born there or concealed from 
his father Saturn (c/. I. 627) in a cave on the island. Argos 
here stands for Greece in general, as in the Aeneid (II, 95, VI, 
838). 

" Apollo, so called from Cynthus, a mountain in the Aegean 
isle of Delos, where he was said to have been born. Delphi 
was his seat. 

"* The Egyptian goddess mentioned at I, 629. 

* Venus (Aphrodite), anciently worshipped on the island of 
Cythera ; but she had no particular connection with Rhodes. 

/ Diana. Cf. 525 and Acts, 19, 24 S. 

44 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

all the motions which are supposed to fasten on it a 
lot predestined at the hour of birth. Come hither, 
all ye race of men ! Assemble here, ye cities also ! 
Infinite light calls you ; learn to know your creator. 
The path of freedom is open to follow. Fate is 
nothing; or if it is something it is annulled and 
vanishes away when Christ confronts it. 

But her many gods have led Rome from success to 
success, and she worships them for their good service 
in that they have given her great victories." Come 
then, warrior city, say what power it was that sub- 
dued Europe and Africa to thee ; tell us the names 
of the gods. Jupiter by his good favour gave thee to 
rule over Crete,'' Pallas over Argos, the Cynthian " 
over Delphi. Isis ** gave up the people of the Nile, 
she of Cythera « the Rhodians, the huntress maid / 
resigned Ephesus to thee, and Mars the Hebrus.? 
Bromius ^ abandoned Thebes, Juno herself granted 
that her Africans should serve a race of Phrygian 
descent, and that city,» which to make mistress 
of subject nations, " did but the fates allow, was 
even then the goddess's cherished aim," she bade live 
under the dominion of the sons of Romulus. Was it by 
the treachery of their own native gods that all these 
cities fell? Do their altars lie in ruins through 
their own betrayal? What loyalty! What sacred 

A river of Thrace (the Maritza). The Greek god Ares, 
with whom the Italian Mars is identified, is much associated 
with Thrace. 

* Dionysus (c/. I, 122 ff.). The story of the unsuccessful 
efforts of Pentheus, king of Thebes, to exclude his worship 
there is the subject of Euripides' Bacchae. 

* Carthage, in the Aeneid her favourite seat. The words 
" dea gentibus esse . . . fovetque " are taken from the 
Aeneid (T, 17-18). 

45 



PRUDENTIUS 

o pi etas, o sancta fides ! traduxit alumnos 

maiestas infida locos, et ereditur istis 

numinibus quae transfugio meruere sacrari ! 505 

an voluit servare suos luctataque multum 

religio infestas temptavit pell ere turmas 

Romanis obnixa globis, sed fortior illam 

virtus luctifieo camporum in pulvere fregit ? 

immo ita est, armis et viribus indiga veri 510 

victa superstitio est et inanem gloria fugit. 

sed nee diffieilis fuit aut satis ardua genti 

natae ad procinctus victoria frangere inertes 

molliaque omnigenum colla inclinare deorum. 

num cum Dictaeis bellum Corybantibus asper 515 

Samnitis Marsusque levi sudore gerebat ? 

num mastigophoris oleoque et gymnadis arte 

unctis pugilibus miles pugnabat Etruscus ? 

nee petaso insignis poterat Lacedaemone capta 

Mercurius servare suas de clade palaestras. 520 

Appenninicolam peditem Cybeleius hostis 

congressu excipiens Asiam defendere et Idam 

qui potuit cogente acies in proelia Gallo ? 

Idalias nisi forte rosas, laurum citharoedi 

vatis, silvicolae calamos arcumque puellae 525 

dedere servitio calcataque sacra domare 

diffieilis operis fuit inmensique laboris. 

" The Corybantes were properly attendants on Cybele, but 
commonly confused with the Curetes who protected the 
infant Zeus in the cave on Mt. Dicte in Crete. 

' The typical Roman of earlier days had a great contempt 
for the Greek cult of athletics. Mastigophori ("whip-bear- 
ers ") were a kind of police under the superintendents of 
public games. 

« Mercury in his capacity as the gods' messenger is repre- 
sented with the broad hat worn by Greek travellers. He is 
mentioned here as being patron of athletic exercises. 

46 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

faith ! These great ones proved faithless and de- 
livered over places they once fostered! Trust is 
put now in powers which have earned their worship 
by desertion ! Or did these holy ones seek to save 
their peoples and struggle hard in an effort to drive 
off the squadrons that attacked them, striving against 
the Roman companies, but did stouter valour break 
them in the woeful dust of the field? Yea, so it 
is. Superstition devoid of truth was overcome by 
arms and strength, glory fled from it because it 
was empty. But it was no difficult or very hard 
victory for a race that was born for battles, to break 
such feeble forces and bend the soft necks of these 
miscellaneous gods. Was it war, costing such slight 
exertion, that the rough Samnite and Marsian waged 
with the Corybantes of Dicte ? " Did the Etruscan 
soXAiexy fight with constables or with boxers ^ smeared 
with oil according to the athlete's art? Even 
Mercury of the broad hat " could not save his 
wrestling-schools from defeat when Lacedaemon was 
taken. How could an enemy who was a follower of 
Cybele, meeting in conflict the footmen of the 
Apennines, defend Asia and Ida,** with a eunuch- 
priest driving his forces into battle? For surely to 
subject the roses of Idalium,* the harper-prophet's 
bay,/ the arrows and bow of the woodland maid, to 
subdue their rites and trample them under foot, was 
no hard task involving boundless toil. It was only a 

^ A mountain in Phrygia where Cybele was worshipped. 
Her priests were called Galli. 

' Roses are associated with Venus (Aphrodite). Idalium, 
a mountain in Cyprus, was sacred to her. 

f Apollo was patron of music, and often represented with 
a lyre ; he also inspired human prophets with a knowledge of 
the will of Jupiter. 

47 



PRUDENTIUS 

fluctibus Actiacis signum symphonia belli 

Aegypto dederat, clangebat bucina contra. 

institerant tenues cumbae fragilesque phaseli 530 

inter turritas Memphitica rostra Liburnas : 

nil potuit Serapis deus et latrator Anubis. 

stirpis luleae ductore exercitus ardens 

praevaluit, gelido quern miserat Algidus axe. 

non armata Venus, non tunc clipeata Minerva 535 

venere auxilio, non divum degener ordo 

et patria extorris Romanis adfuit armis, 

victus et ipse prius inimica nee agmina iuvit, 

si tamen antiquum norat retinere dolorem. 

sed dicis legisse deos ubi sanctior usus 540 

templorum cultu celebri sine fine maneret, 

Aeneadumque ultro victricia signa virorum 

regis amore Numae nullo cogente secutos. 

num Diomedis item tentoria et acris Ulixi 

castra volens Pallas caesis custodibus arcis 545 

legit, ubi umenti sudaret maesta sigillo ? 

» Virgil {Aeneid VIII, 696) and Propertius (III, 11, 43, 
which Prudentius perhaps echoes here) represent Cleopatra at 
the battle of Actium (in 31 B.C.) as calling on her forces with 
the sistrum. It was a kind of metallic rattle (d.escribed 
by Apuleius, Metamorphoses, XI, 4) which was used in the 
worship of Isis. 

* Liburnae were in fact light vessels, and Antony's fleet had 
heavier ships than that of Octavian. 

" Octavian (later known as Augustus) was the grandson of 
Julius Caesar's sister, and adopted by will as his son. 

48 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

musical instrument that gave Egypt the signal for 
battle on the waters at Actium," while on the other 
side the trumpet blared. Slight boats and frail 
yachts pressed their Egyptian rams amid towered 
galleys,'' but their god Serapis and their barking 
Anubis were powerless. The eager army led by a 
scion of the Julian stock " and sent by Algidus ** 
from a cold clime outmatched them. No Venus in 
arms, no Minerva with her shield « came then to 
help, no line of renegade gods in exile from their 
home stood by the Roman forces. Conquered 
themselves before, they did not even aid our enemies' 
columns — supposing that they were capable of keep- 
ing up their old resentment ! But you say the gods 
chose the place where the possession of their temples 
with crowds of worshippers would remain to them 
without end more inviolate ; and that of their own 
will they followed the victorious standards of the 
warrior stock of Aeneas unforced, from love of king 
Numa./ Did Pallas similarly choose of her own will 
the tents of Diomede and the camp of fierce Ulysses 
when the guards of her stronghold were slain, there 
to wet her image vidth a sweat of sorrow ? ? Or 

^ A part of the Alban Hills in Latium, to which Horace 
refers as " cold " and " snowy." The phrase is meant here 
to enforce the contrast with the " efiFeminate " Egyptians. 

« The aegis (literally " goat-skin ") associated with Jupiter 
and with Athena (Minerva) is described sometimes as a 
tasselled garment (c/. Iliad, II, 447 if., V, 738 ff.), sometimes 
as a piece of armour (either a shield or a breastplate. Cf. 
Aeneid VIII, 435). It serves to gather tempests or to rouse 
or dismay men. 

^ See note on line 47. Symmachus does not in fact use the 
argument here ascribed to him. 

» The reference is to the theft of the Palladium (see note on 
1, 195) from Troy by Ulysses and Diomede {Aeneid II, 163-175). 

49 



PRUDENTIUS 

aut quotiens ductor Macetum fortissimus altos 

templorum cineres victis cumulavit Amyclis, 

optarunt praedis domini se numina capta 

misceri Assyriaeque vehi Babylonis ad arcem ? 550 

non fero Romanum nomen sudataque bella 

et titulos tanto quaesitos sanguine carpi. 

detrahit invictis legionibus et sua Romae 

praemia deminuit, qui, quidquid fortiter actum est, 

adscribit Veneri, palmam victoribus aufert. 555 

frustra igitur currus summo miramur in arcu 

quadriiugos stantesque duces in curribus altis 

Fabricios, Curios, hinc Drusos, inde Camillos, 

sub pedibusque ducum captivos poplite flexo 

ad iuga depressos manibusque in terga retortis 560 

et suspensa gravi telorum fragmina trunco, 

si Brennum, Antiochum, Persen, Pyrrhum, Mithri- 

datem 
Flora, Matuta, Ceres et Larentina subegit. 
" his tamen auspicibus successus dextra dederunt 
omina laetificos et felix adfuit ales." 565 

quid sibi vult virtus, quid gloria, si Corvinum 



" Alexander the Great, who after securing supremacy over 
Greece embarked on his career of conquest in the East. He 
died at Babylon. Amyclae was an ancient town near Sparta, 
and had a temple of Apollo which was a religious centre of 
some importance. It does not itself figure in Alexander's 
career, but poets often use the name to represent Sparta, and 
Prudentius uses it here for Greece in general. Alexander did 
not behave towards Greece in the way here implied, though 
he did destroy the city of Thebes. 

* A " trophy" (tropaeum) such as that described by Virgil 
in the Aeneid (XI, 5-11) where Aeneas sets up as an offering 

50 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

whenever the bold leader of the Macedonians " 
in victory over Amyclae heaped high the ashes 
of the temples, did the captured deities choose to be 
included in their master's plunder and carried to a 
stronghold in Assyrian Babylon? I will not have 
the fame of Rome, her hard-fought wars, her trophies 
gained with so much blood, belittled. He disparages 
the unconquerable legions and detracts from the 
prizes Rome has won, who ascribes to Venus all her 
brave deeds and robs the victors of the palm. Vain 
then is our wonder at the four-horse chariots on the 
top of a triumphal arch, the generals standing in their 
chariots high up, a Fabricius, a Curius, here a Drusus, 
there a Camillus, and under the generals' feet the 
prisoners on bent knee, bowed under the weight 
of the yoke, their hands bound behind their backs, 
and the broken weapons hung on a heavy-laden 
tree-trunk,'' — if it was Flora or Matuta or Ceres or 
Larentina who subdued Brennus, Antiochus, Perses, 
Pyrrhus, and Mithridates.*' Yet, you say, under their 
lead favourable omens brought gladdening victories 
and the bird of good fortune was on our side. What 
is the meaning of valour or glory, if Corvinus was 

to Mara an oak-trunk bearing the arms of his dead enemy 
Mezentius. 

' Brennus was the leader of the Gauls who sacked Rome in 
390 B.C. (See note on 688). Antiochus III of Syria was defeated 
by L. Scipio in 190 B.C. ; Perses or Perseus the last king of 
Macedon, conquered by L. AemUius Paulus in 168 B.C. ; 
Pyrrhus king of Epirus, who invaded South Italy and Sicily 
and was defeated in 275 B.C. ; Mithridates king of Pontus, 
who after a long contest with Rome was finally defeated by 
Pompeius and put an end to his life in 63 B.C. (Acca) Larenta 
or Larentina was an obscure divinity, though in legend she 
appears as a woman who took charge of the infant Romulus 
and Remus (Livy, I, 4). 

51 



PRUDENTIUS 

corvus Apollineus pinna vel gutture iuvit ? 
sed tamen hie corvus cur defuit exitiali 
forte die, infaustas tegerent cum funera Cannas 
oppeteretque super congesta cadavera consul ? 570 
cur Cremerae in campis cornice vel oscine parra 
nemo deum monuit perituros Marte sinistro 
tercentum Fabios vix stirpe superstite in uno ? 
nullane tristificis Tritonia noctua Carrhis 
advolitans praesto esse deam praenuntia Crasso 575 
prodidit, aut Paphiam niveae vexere columbae, 
cuius inauratum tremeret gens Persica limbura ? 
sed video quae te moveant exempla vetustae 
virtutis : dicis domitum terraque marique 
orbem, res laetas et prospera quaeque retexis, 580 
mille triumphorum memoras ex ordine pompas 
ductaque per mediam spoliorum fercula Romam. 
vis dicam quae causa tuos, Romane, labores 
in tantum extulerit, quis gloria fotibus aucta 
sic cluat inpositis ut mundum frenet habenis ? 585 
discordes Unguis populos et dissona cultu 
regna volens sociare Deus subiungier uni 
imperio, quidquid tractabile moribus esset, 

« Story told how M. Valerius in 349 B.C. defeated a gigantic 
Gaul in single combat : a crow settled on his helmet and 
attacked the face and eyes of the Gaul (Livy, VII, 26). This 
won him the cognomen Corvus, which in later generations 
appears as Corvinus. 

* Where Hannibal inflicted the never-forgotten defeat on 
the Romans in 216 B.C. The consul L. Aemilius Paullus was 
killed, though not in the circumstances which Prudentius 
suggests (Livy, XXII, 49). 

' According to tradition the Fabian clan by itself under- 
took a campaign against the Etruscan city of Veil in 477 B.C. 
All the 306 fighting men were killed in battle near the river 
Cremera and the only survivor of the clan was a young boy 
(Livy, II, 48-50). 

52 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

aided by one of Apollo's crows with wing or beak ? " 
But after all why was this crow missing on the fatal 
day when corpses covered the ill-starred ground at 
Cannae ^ and a consul met his death on top of a 
pile of bodies ? Why on the plains of the Cremera 
did no god give warning by rook or lapwing 'spi'ophetic 
cry that the three hundred Fabii were to perish in luck- 
less battle and their stock scarce to survive in a 
single person ? «^ Did none of Tritonia's owls fly 
up at sorrowful Carrhae ^ to tell Crassus that the 
goddess was by his side, no snow-white doves bring 
the Lady of Paphos * that the Persian race might 
tremble before her gold-wrought girdle ? 

But I see the instances of ancient valour which 
move you. You say the world was conquered on 
land and sea, you recount every success and victory, 
and recall a thousand triumphal processions one 
after another, with their loads of spoil passing through 
the midst of Rome. Shall I tell you, Roman, what 
cause it was that so exalted your labours, what it 
was that nursed your glory to such a height of fame 
that it has put rein and bridle on the world ? God, 
mshing to bring into partnership peoples of different 
speech and realms of discordant manners, determined 
that all the civilised world should be harnessed to one 

^ In Mesopotamia, where M. Licinius Crassus and his army 
were destroyed by the Parthians in 53 B.C. Originally subject 
to Persia, they had won a kingdom which included Persia and 
extended as far west as the Euphrates. Tritonia is a name of 
Athena (Minerva). 

* Venus. Doves were sacred to her (c/. Aeneid, VI, 193). 
Her magic girdle is mentioned in Homer (Iliad, XIV, 214 ff.) 
as inspiring love and desire; but Aphrodite was at some 
places a warlike goddess, and there was a temple of Venus 
Victrix at Rome. 

53 



PRUDENTIUS 

concordique iugo retinacula mollia ferre 

constituit, quo corda hominum coniuncta teneret 590 

religionis amor ; nee enim fit copula Christo 

digna, nisi inplicitas societ mens unica gentes. 

sola Deum novit eoneordia, sola benignum 

rite colit tranquilla Patrem : placidissimus ilium 

foederis humani consensus prosperat orbi, 595 

seditione fugat, saevis exasperat armis, 

munere pacis alit, retinet pietate quieta. 

omnibus in terris quas continet occidualis 

oceanus roseoque Aurora inluminat ortu, 

miscebat Bellona furens raortalia cuncta 600 

armabatque feras in vulnera mutua dextras. 

hanc frenaturus rabiem Deus undique gentes 

inclinare caput docuit sub legibus isdem 

Romanosque omnes fieri, quos Rhenus et Hister, 

quos Tagus aurifluus, quos magnus inundat Hiberus, 

corniger Hesperidum quos interlabitur et quos 606 

Ganges alit tepidique lav ant septem ostia Nili. 

ius fecit commune pares et nomine eodem 

nexuit et domitos fraterna in vincla redegit. 

vivitur omnigenis in partibus haud secus ac si 610 

cives congenitos concludat moenibus unis 

urbs patria atque omnes lare conciliemur avito. 

distantes regione plagae divisaque ponto 

litora conveniunt nunc per vadimonia ad unum 

et commune forum, nunc per commercia et artes 615 

ad coetum celebrem, nunc per genialia fulcra 

externi ad ius conubii ; nam sanguine mixto 

" Often mentioned as a source of alluvial gold. 

'' The Tiber. The phrase is taken from the Aeneid (VIII, 
77). Hesperia (the land of the west, from the Greek point of 
view) is a poets' name for Italy. Rivers are compared to 
bulls (c/. Horace's tauriformis Aufidus) ; hence corniger. 

54 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

ruling power and bear gentle bonds in harmony 
under the yoke, so that love of their religion should 
hold men's hearts in union ; for no bond is made 
that is worthy of Christ unless unity of spirit leagues 
together the nations it associates. Only concord 
knows God ; it alone worships the beneficent Father 
aright in peace. The untroubled harmony of 
human union wins his favour for the world ; by 
division it drives Him away, with cruel warfare it 
makes Him wroth ; it satisfies Him with the offering 
of peace and holds Him fast with quietness and 
brotherly love. In all lands bounded by the western 
ocean and lightened by Aurora at her rosy dawning, 
the raging war-goddess was throwing all humanity 
into confusion and arming savage hands to wound 
each other. To curb this frenzy God taught the 
nations everywhere to bow their heads under the 
same laws and become Romans — all whom Rhine 
and Danube flood, or Tagus * with its golden stream, 
or great Ebro, those through whose land glides the 
horned river of the western world,* those who are 
nurtured by Ganges or washed by the warm Nile's 
seven mouths. A common law made them equals and 
bound them by a single name, bringing the conquered 
into bonds of brotherhood. We live in countries 
the most diverse like fellow-citizens of the same 
blood dwelling within the single ramparts of their 
native city, and all united in an ancestral home. 
Regions far apart, shores separated by the sea, now 
meet together in appearing before one common court 
of law, in the way of trade in the products of their 
crafts they gather to one thronged market, in the 
way of wedlock they unite in legal marriage with a 
spouse of another country ; for a single progeny is 

55 



PRUDENTIUS 

texitur alternis ex gentibus una propago. 

hoc actum est tantis successibus atque triumphis 

Romani imperii : Christo iam tunc venienti, 620 

crede, parata via est, quam dudum publica nostrae 

pacis amicitia struxit moderamine Romae. 

nam locus esse Deo quis posset in orbe feroci 

pectoribusque hominum discordibus et sua iura 

dissimili ratione tuentibus, ut fuit olim ? 625 

sic inconpositos humano in pectore sensus 

disiunctasque animi turbato foedere partes 

nee liquida invisit sapientia nee Deus intrat. 

at si mentis apex regnandi iure potitus 

pugnacis stomachi pulsus fibrasque rebelles 630 

frenet et omne iecur ratione coerceat una, 

fit stabilis vitae status, et sententia certa 

haurit corde Deum domino et subiungitur uni. 

en ades, Omnipotens, concordibus influe terris : 634 
iam mundus te, Christe, capit, quem congrege nexu 
pax et Roma tenent. capita haec et culmina rerum 
esse iubes, nee Roma tibi sine pace probatur, 
et pax ut placeat facit excellentia Romae, 
quae motus varios simul et dicione coercet 
et terrore premit ; nee enim spoliata prioris 640 

robore virtutis senuit nee saecula sensit, 
nee tremulis, cum bella vocant, capit arma lacertis, 
nee tam degeneri venerandis supplicat ore 



" The gradual extension of Roman citizenship culminated 
in 212, when the edict of Caracalla made it practically universal 
throughout the empire, so that there were now no peregrini, 
i.e. subjects of Rome without citizen-rights. Under the old 
system marriage fully recognised by Roman law between a 
Roman and a peregrina or peregrinus was not possible unless 
the privilege had been specifically conferred on the peregrine 
community concerned. The sentiment of these lines is also 

56 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

produced from the mixed blood of two different races." 
Such is the result of the great successes and triumphs 
of the Roman power. For the time of Christ's 
coming, be assured, was the way prepared which the 
general good will of peace among us had just built 
under the rule of Rome. For what room could there 
have been for God in a savage world and in human 
hearts at variance, each according to its different 
interest maintaining its own claims, as once things 
were ? Where sentiments are thus disordered in 
man's breast, agreement upset, and faction in the 
soul, neither pure wisdom visits nor God enters. 
But if a supremacy in the soul, having gained 
authority to rule, checks the impulses of refractory 
appetite and rebellious flesh and controls all its 
passions under a single order, the constitution of life 
becomes stable and a settled way of thought draws in 
God in the heart and subjects itself to one Lord. 

Come then, Almighty ; here is a world in harmony ; 
do Thou enter it. An earth receives Thee now, O 
Christ, which peace and Rome hold in a bond of 
union. These Thou dost command to be the heads and 
highest powers of the world. Rome without peace 
finds no favour with Thee ; and it is the supremacy of 
Rome, keeping down disorders here or there by the 
awe of her sovereignty, that secures the peace, so 
that Thou hast pleasure in it. She has not been 
robbed of the might of her former valour and grown 
feeble with age, she has not felt the force of time, and 
it is with no shaking arm that she takes up her 
weapons at the call of war. With no such failing 
voice does she petition her august emperors as that 

expressed by Prudentius' contemporary Claudian, Ve Consulatu 
Stilichonis, III, 150 fF. . 

57 



PRUDENTIUS 

principibus, quam vult praenobilis ille senator 
orandi arte potens et callida fingere doctus 645 

mentitumque gravis personae inducere pondus, 
ut tragicus cantor ligno tegit or a cavato, 
grande aliquod cuius per hiatum crimen anhelet. 

si vocem simulare licet, nempe aptior ista 
vox Romae est, quam nunc eius sub nomine promam. 
quae quia turpe putat templorum flere repulsam 651 
aegidaque in dubiis pro se pugnasse periclis 
dicere seque gravem senio inclinante fateri, 
ductores conplexa suos sic laeta profatur : 
' O clari salvete duces, generosa propago 655 

principis invicti, sub quo senium omne renascens 
deposui vidique meam flavescere rursus 
canitiem : nam cum mortalia cuncta vetustas 
inminuat, mihi longa dies aliud parit aevum, 
quae vivendo diu didici contemnere finem. 660 

nunc, nunc iusta meis reverentia conpetit annis, 
nunc merito dicor venerabilis et caput orbis, 
cum galeam sub fronde oleae cristasque rubentes 
concutio viridi velans fera cingula serto 
atque armata Deum sine crimine caedis adoro. 665 
crimen enim, piget heu, crimen persuaserat atrox 
luppiter, ut sacro iustorum sanguine tincta 
adsuetum bellis scelerarem funere ferrum. 
illius instinctu primus Nero matre perempta 
sanguinem apostolicum bibit ac me strage piorum 
polluit et proprium facinus mihi saevus inussit. 671 

"» Cf. lines 80 ff. and Symmachus 9. 

" Actors on the stage wore masks more or less adapted to 
the character, and having a wide opening for the mouth. 
" See note on line 535. 
<* Agrippina (Tacitus, Annals, XIV, 1-11). 
• St Peter and St Paul. 

58 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

very noble senator would have it, who is such a master 
of the art of speech, so skilful in inventing clever 
arguments and putting on an impressive figure to 
lend them false weight,** just as a player in a tragedy 
covers his face with a piece of hollow-shaped wood ^ 
to utter some great wickedness with all his breath 
through its gaping mouth. 

If one may assume a voice, surely more befitting 
Rome is the voice which I shall now put forth in her 
name. Because she thinks it dishonourable to lament 
the rejection of her temples, to say that the aegis <^ 
fought for her in times of anxious peril, and to admit 
that she is bowed under the weight of years, she 
embraces her leaders and thus in good heart declares : 
" I greet you, renowned captains, noble sons of an 
unconquerable emperor under whom with life re- 
newed I put old age entirely off and saw my gray 
hair turn again to gold ; for though time reduces all 
mortal things, length of days brings forth for me a 
new life and I have learned by living long to defy 
death. Now at last fit and proper reverence is paid 
to my years. Now of right I am called venerable, 
the head of the world, when I shake my helmet with 
its red crests under a sprig of olive and veil my cruel 
sword-belt with a garland of greenery, worshipping 
God in arms but with no guilt of bloodshed. For it 
was to sin (alas, to my sorrow now!), it was to sin 
that savage Jupiter led me on, to stain my hands 
with the holy blood of the righteous and defile with 
the guilt of their death the sword that had its proper 
use in war. It was at his prompting that Nero, 
after slaying his mother ,'^ first drank the blood of the 
apostles,* soiled me with the slaughter of devout men, 
and branded his own cruel wickedness on me. After 

59 



PRUDENTIUS 

post hunc et Decius iugulis bacchatus apertis 

insanam pavit rabiem ; mox et sitis arsit 

multorum similis, per vulnera tristia flagrans 

extrahere insignes animas ac ludere poenis 675 

undantesque meum in gremium defundere mortes 

et sub iure fori non noxia colla secare. 

hac me labe ream modo tempora vestra piarunt. 

vivo pie vobis auctoribus, inpia pridem 

arte lovis, fateor ; quid enim non ille cruentum 680 

tradidit ? aut quid mite sibi placidumve poposcit ? 

qui, dum praemetuit cultus inolescere Christi, 

saeviit ac miserum foedavit sanguine saeclum. 

et sunt qui nobis bella exprobrare sinistra 

non dubitent, postquam templorum sprevimus aras, 

adfirmentque Libyn Collinae a cardine portae 686 

Hannibalem lovis imperio Martlsque repulsum, 

victores Senonas Capitoli ex arce fugatos • 

cum super e celso pugnarent numina saxo ! 

qui mihi praeteritam cladem veteresque dolores 690 

inculcant iterum, videant me tempore vestro 

lam nil tale pati : nullus mea barbarus hostis 

cuspide claustra quatit, non armis, veste comisque 

ignotus capta passim vagus errat in urbe 

transalpina meam rapiens in vincula pubem. 695 

" Emperor from 249 to 251. He tried to enforce conformity 
to the state religion throughout the empire. 

* The later persecutions took place mainly under Valerian 
(in the years 257-259) and under Diocletian and his colleagues 
(beginning in 303 and ended by the Edict of Milan issued by 
Constantine and Licinius in 313). 

" C/. Symmachus, 9. In 211 B.C. Hannibal marched to the 
near neighbourhood of Rome in the hope of compelling the 
Romans to withdraw from the siege of Capua. With a force 
of cavalry he rode up to the Colline Gate, but made no attack 
(Livy, XXVI, 10-11). 

6o 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

him Decius " fed his mad rage by revelling in murder, 
and then the like thirst burned hot in many others * 
to drag out noble lives through cruel wounds and 
make a sport of punishments, pouring a flood of 
deaths into my lap and cutting off innocent heads by 
sentence of the courts. It is only your times that 
have cleansed me from this guilty stain. Under 
your lead my life is godly ; formerly, I confess, I was 
ungodly, through the deception of Jupiter. For 
what bloody cruelty did he not pass to me ? When 
did he ever demand for himself an act that was mild 
and gentle ? Fearing beforehand that the worship 
of Christ would take root, he vented his rage and 
befouled a wretched world with blood. And yet 
there are some who do not hesitate to reproach us 
with ill fortune in wars since we rejected the altars in 
the temples, and assert that the African Hannibal 
was driven back from the hinge of the Colline Gate " 
by the power of Jupiter and Mars, and the victorious 
Senones ** routed from the citadel on the Capitol 
because divine powers were fighting from the rock 
high above! Let those who din into my ears once 
more the story of past disasters and ancient sorrows 
observe that in your time I suffer such things no 
longer. No barbarian foe shatters my bars with 
his spear, nor with strange arms and dress and hair 
goes roving through my captured city, carrying off 
my young men to bondage across the Alps. Not 

<* Oneof a number ofCeltic tribes which had crossed the Alps 
and occupied northern Italy about 400 B.C. In 390 a horde of 
them sacked Rome but were unable to take the Capitoline 
citadel. Some of them succeeded in climbing up the rock by 
night, but the alarm was raised by some geese (c/. line 703) 
which, because they were sacred to Juno, the hard-pressed 
garrison had refrained from eating (Livy, V, 47). 

6l 



PRUDENTIUS 

temptavit Geticus nuper delete tyrannus 
Italiam patrio veniens iuratus ab Histro 
has arces aequare solo, tecta aurea flammis 
solvere, mastrucis proceres vestire togatos ; 
iamque ruens Venetos turmis protriverat agros 700 
et Ligurum vastarat opes et amoena profundi 
rura Padi Tuscumque solum victo amne premebat. 
depulit hos nimbos equitum non pervigil anser, 
proditor occulti tenebrosa nocte pericli, 
sed vis cruda virum perfractaque congredientum 
pectora nee trepidans animus subcumbere leto 706 
pro patria et pulchram per vulnera quaerere laudem. 
numquid et ille dies love contulit auspice tantum 
virtutis pretium ? dux agminis imperiique 
Christipotens nobis iuvenis fult, et comes eius 710 
atque parens Stilicho, Deus unus Christus utrique. 
huius adoratis altaribus et cruce fronti 
inscripta cecinere tubae : prima hasta dracones 
praecurrit, quae Christi apicem sublimior efFert. 
illic ter denis gens exitiabilis annis 715 

Pannoniae poenas tandem deleta pependit. 



" Visigoths under Alaric invaded Italy in 401, but were 
repelled by StUicho at Pollentia in 402 or 403 (c/. line 720). 
Claudian in his De Bello Getico, like Prudentius, represents 
this battle as a crushing defeat of the Goths, but this is an 
exaggeration (Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, I pt. ii, p. 
722). Within a few years after these lines were written the 

62 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

long since a Getic king " came from his native 
Danube and essayed to wipe out Italy, having sworn 
to rase these strongholds to the ground, destroy 
our gold-roofed buildings with fire, and dress our 
toga-clad nobles in skins. Already in his onward 
rush he had trampled down Venetia's lands with his 
squadrons and laid waste the riches of Liguria, and 
was pressing hard on the fair countryside by the deep 
Po and, passing the river, on the soil of Tuscany. 
But it was no watchful goose that drove away those 
clouds of horsemen, revealing a peril that was hidden 
in the darkness of night, but the rude strength of 
men, breasts shattered in the clash of battle, a spirit 
that feared not to submit to death for its country 
and to seek glorious honour through its wounds. 
Did that day too bestow its great reward of valour 
by Jupiter's favour? To lead our army and our 
power we had a young warrior * mighty in Christ, 
and his Companion and father Stilicho, and Christ 
the one God of both. It was after worship at 
Christ's altar and when the mark of the cross was 
imprinted on the brow, that the trumpets sounded. 
First before the dragon-standards " went a spear- 
shaft raising the crest of Christ above them. There 
the race that for thirty years had plagued Pannonia ^ 
was at last wiped out and paid the penalty. The 

Goths were in Italy again and in 410 they took and plundered 
Rome. 

* Honorius became emperor of the West while still a boy 
in 395. By his father's arrangement he was under the tute- 
lage of Stilicho, an officer of Vandal origin who had risen high 
in the Roman military service, and whose daughter he after- 
wards married. 

* See note on Cath. 5, 56. 

'' The Visigoths had been a source of trouble south of the 
Danube since 376. 

63 



PRUDENTIUS 

corpora famosis olim ditata rapinis 

in cumulos congesta iacent ; mirabere seris, 

posteritas, saeclis inhumata cadavera late, 

quae Pollentinos texerunt ossibus agros. 720 

si potui manibus Gallorum excisa levare 

de cinerum squalore caput, redeunte Camillo 

signa renidenti fumans si fronte recepi, 

si potui miseras sertis redimire ruinas 

et male pendentes lauro praecingere turres, 725 

quo te suseipiam gremio, fortissime princeps ? 

quos spargam flores ? quibus insertabo coronis 

atria ? quae fastis suspendam pallia portis, 

inmunis tanti belli ac te stante sub armis 

libera et aure tenus Geticos experta tumultus ? 730 

scande triumphalem currum, spoliisque receptis 

hue Christo comitante veni. date, vincula demam 

captivis gregibus ; manicas deponite longo 

tritas servitio, matrum iuvenumque catervae. 

dediscat servire senex laris exul aviti, 735 

discat et ad patrium limen genetrice reversa 

ingenuum se nosse puer. timor omnis abesto ; 

vicimus, exultare libet. quid tale repulso 

Poenorum quondam duce contigit ? ille petitae 

postquam perculerat tremefacta repagula portae, 

Baianis resolutus aquis durissima luxu 741 

° Tradition told how, when the Gauls were besieging the 
Capitol at Rome (see note on line 688), Camillus was recalled 
from exile and how, arriving with a force just when a ransom 
in gold was being weighed out to the Gauls, he drove them 
from the city. 

64 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

bodies of men who once enriched themselves by their 
ill-famed plundering now lie piled in heaps. Thou 
wilt marvel, Posterity, in late ages at corpses lying 
unburied far over the ground, which have covered the 
fields of Pollentia with their bones. If I was able to 
lift my head from the desolation of ashes after I was 
laid low by the hands of the Gauls; if at Camillus' 
return, still smoking as I was, I received back my 
standards with a smiling face * ; if I could wreathe my 
sad ruins with garlands and gird my listing towers 
with bay, with what feelings shall I take thee to my 
heart, most valorous emperor ? What flowers shall I 
scatter, in what wreaths set my halls, with what 
drapings hang my gates in celebration? For this 
great war has not touched me, but while thou didst 
stand under arms I have been free and the Goths' 
invasion only reached my ears. Mount the triumphal 
car, take thy spoils and come hither with Christ by 
thy side. Let me take the chains from off you 
captive throngs, drop the manacles that long bondage 
has worn smooth, ye troops of matrons and young 
men ! * Let the old man be no longer a slave in 
exile from the home of his ancestors, and the child 
begin to know himself free-born, now that his mother 
has come back to his father's house. Begone all 
fear! We have won the victory; now will we leap 
with joy. What success like this fell to us when long 
ago the Carthaginian captain was driven away ? 
He, after attacking our gate and shaking its bars 
with his strokes, weakened himself with the waters of 
Baiae, with indulgence forsook his hardy strength, 

* The victory at Polleutia led to the release of many who 
had been in the hands of the Goths. Cf. Claudian, De Bella 
Oetico, 616 if. 

65 
VOL. II. D 



PRUDENTIUS 

robora destituit ferrumque libidine fregit. 

at noster Stilicho congressus comminus ipsa 

ex acie ferrata virum dare terga coegit. 

hie Christus nobis Deus adfuit et mera virtus, 745 

illic lascivum, Campania fertilis, hostem 

deliciae vicere tuae ; non luppiter acrem 

protexit Fabium, sed iuvit amoena Tarentus, 

quae dedit inlecebris domitum calcare tyrannum. 

his ego pro meritis quae praemia digna rependam, 750 

non habeo : membra statuis effingere vile est ; 

virtutem nil vile decet ; nam vile, quod aetas 

eripit : aera cadunt aut fulvum defluit aurum 

aut candor perit argenti si defuit usus, 

et fuscata situ corrumpit vena colorem. 755 

viva tibi, princeps, debetur gloria, vivum 

virtutis pretium decus inmortale secuto. 

regnator mundi Christo sociabere in aevum, 

quo ductore meum trahis ad caelestia regnum. 

nil te permoveat magni vox rhetoris, oro, 760 

qui sub legati specie sacra mortua plorans 

ingenii telis et fandi viribus audet, 

heu, nostram temptare fidem nee te videt ac me 

devotos, Auguste, Deo, cui sordida templa 

clausimus et madidas sanie deiecimus aras. 765 

<• Livy (XXIII, 18. Cf. 45) claims that Hannibal's forces 
were demoralised by spending the winter after the battle of 
Cannae amid the luxuries of Capua in Campania; but this 
was before his march to Rome, not after it as Prudentius here 
says; nor did he on that occasion attack the city. Baiae 
itself is not historically connected with Hannibal. It was 
later a sea-side resort of wealthy Romans and had warm 
springs. Prudentius thinks of it here because, like Capua, it 
was in Campania and had a reputation for luxury and dissipa- 
tion. Cicero's enemy Clodius on one occasion tried to dis- 
credit him by alleging that he had been there. 

66 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

with lust broke the power of his sword." But our 
Stilicho grappled with the foe and compelled them to 
flee in their armour from actual battle. In this case 
Christ our God and sheer valour were on our side ; 
in that, it was thy voluptuous delights, fertile 
Campania,'' that overcame our licentious enemy ; 
it was not Jupiter who protected the bold Fabius, 
but the charms of Tarentum that aided him, enabling 
him to trample on a tyrant who was already subdued 
by her allurements." In recompense for these 
services I know not how to make fitting return. To 
represent thy person in statues would be paltry 
(and nothing paltry is beseeming to merit), for that 
which time steals is paltry. Bronzes fall down, 
yellow gold passes away, silver loses its sheen for 
want of use, and the metal is blackened by neglect 
and its colour spoiled. To thee, our emperor, a 
living glory is due, a living reward for thy merit, 
since thou hast sought after honour that is deathless. 
As ruler of the world thou shalt be made partner with 
Christ for ever, for under his leadership thou dost 
draw my realm to the heavens. Let not the voice 
of the great orator prevail on thee, I pray, when under 
the guise of a deputy he bemoans the fate of rites that 
are dead, and with all the weapons of his mind and 
powers of speech dares, alas! to attack our faith, 
not seeing that thou and I, Augustus, are vowed to 
God, in whose honour we have closed the foul 
temples and cast down the blood-soaked altars. Let 

* Campania is often praised for its surpassing fertility (e.g. 
Pliny, Nat. Hist. XVIIl, 109-111). 

' In the 2nd Punic War Q. Fabius Maximus recovered 
possession of Tarentum from the Carthaginians. Horace 
calls it " soft " (with reference to its climate) and " unwar- 
like." 

67 



PRUDENTIUS 

unus nostra regat servetque palatia Christus ; 
ne quis Romuleas daemon iam noverit arces, 
sed soli pads Domino mea serviat aula." 
sic adfata pios Roma exoravit alumnos 
spernere legatum non admittenda petentem, 770 
legatum lovis ex adytis ab haruspice missum, 
at non a patria ; patriae sua gloria Christus. 
persistit tamen adfirmans iter esse viandi 
multifidum variumque, Deus cum quaeritur unus ; 
hinc alios, ast inde alios properare seorsum, 775 

quemque per anfractus proprios; sed conpeta 

eodem 
fine coartari simul et concurrere in unum ; 
quin etiam caelum atque solum, ventos, mare, nubes 
omnibus in commune dari, vel qui colimus te, 
Christe, vel exta litant sculptis qui tabida saxis. 780 
non nego communem cunctis viventibus usum 
aeris, astrorum, pelagi, telluris et imbris. 
immo etiam iniustus pariter iustusque sub uno 
axe habitant, unas capit inpius et pius auras, 
castus et incestus, meretrix et nupta, nee alter 785 
ore sacerdotis quam myrmillonis anhelat 
spiritus, aerio vitam qui temperat haustu. 
nubis verna pluit zephyro inpellente, sed aeque 
furis et innocui fecundat rura coloni. 
gurgitis aestivi sic pura fluenta viator, 790 

ut latro, fessus adit ; sic piratis mare servit 
ut mercatori, nee fluctus secius hosti 
obsequitur, quam cum licitae fert transtra carinae. 
ergo capax utriusque rei natura creandis 
se praebet populis, nee habet discernere dispar 795 



" See note on line 90. 
68 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

Christ alone rule and keep our palaces, let no evil 
spirit any longer know the strongholds of Romulus, 
but my court serve the Lord of peace alone." 

So speaking, Rome has prevailed on her loyal sons 
to reject the deputy's inadmissible petition, for he 
was a deputy sent by a soothsayer from the shrine of 
Jupiter, not by his country. His country's proper 
glory is Christ. Yet he keeps on, asserting that 
there are manifold different routes of travel in the 
search for the one God.« Seekers, he says, make 
haste after Him from different sides in separation, 
each by his own winding path, but the ways contract 
and meet in the same end, coming together into one. 
And he claims that sky and earth, wind and sea and 
clouds are given to all in common, both to us who 
worship Thee, O Christ, and those who offer rotting 
entrails to carved stones. I do not deny that enjoy- 
ment of air, stars, ocean, earth, rain, is common to 
all that live; indeed the unrighteous and the 
righteous dwell together under the same sky, the 
ungodly and the godly draw in the same air, the 
pure and the impure, the harlot and the wedded 
wife, and it is the same breath that breathes in the 
mouth of priest and gladiator, controlling the life 
with the draught of air. The cloud showers its 
rain in spring when the west wind drives it, but it 
enriches equally the land of the thief and the honest 
farmer. Traveller and robber, when they are tired, 
visit alike the pure waters of the stream in sum- 
mer, the sea serves the pirate as well as the trader, 
and its waves are as compliant to an enemy as when 
they bear the thwarts of a lawful ship. Nature, 
then, while furnishing her services for the creation 
of peoples, is indifferent and cannot distinguish be- 

69 



i 



PRUDENTIUS 

viventum meritum, quos tantum pascere iussa est. 
servit enim mundus, non iudicat ; hoc sibi summus 
naturae Dominus praescripta in tempora servat. 
nunc adsunt homini data munera legibus isdem 
quis concessa semel : fons liquitur, amnis inundat, 
velivolum ratibus mare finditur, influit imber, 801 
aura volat tenuis, vegetatur mobilis aer, 
et res naturae fit publica promptaque cunctis, 
dum servant elementa suum famulantia cursum. 
sic probus atque reus capitalis criminis isdem 805 
sideribus facilisque poli bonitate fruuntur. 
vivere commune est, sed non commune mereri. 
denique Romanus, Daha, Sarmata, Vandalus, Hunnus, 
Gaetulus, Garamans, Alamannus, Saxo, Galaula, 
una omnes gradiuntur humo, caelum omnibus unum 

est, 
unus et oceanus, nostrum qui continet orbem. 811 
addo aliud : nostros potant animalia fontes ; 
ipso rore mihi seges est, quo gramen onagris, 
spurca suis nostro amne natat, nostra intrat et ipsos 
aura canes animatque levi fera corpora flatu. 815 
sed tantum distant Romana et barbara, quantum 
quadrupes abiuncta est bipedi vel muta loquenti ; 
tantum ^ etiam qui rite Dei praecepta sequuntur, 
cultibus a stolidis et eorum erroribus absunt. 
non facit ergo pares in religione tenenda 820 

aeris et caeli communio ; corpora tantum 

^ Bergman reads quantum vnth most of his MSS. 

" This appears to be the first occurrence of the name in 
literature. Orosius, who wrote in the early part of the 5th 
century, but later than Prudentius, gives Gcdaules (or Galaulae) 
70 



'/5»J 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

tween the different merits of the living, because her 
only duty is to feed them. For the world is our 
servant, not our judge; this function the supreme 
Lord of nature reserves for Himself at the appointed 
season. Man has now possession of the gifts that 
were given him, on the same terms as when they were 
granted once for all : the spring flows, the river is 
full, the sail-winged sea is cut by ships, the rain 
streams down, the thin breeze flies, the air is brisk 
and nimble, and the substance of nature becomes 
common property available for all so long as the 
elements in our service keep their due course. Thus 
the good man and he who is guilty of a capital crime 
have the benefit of the same stars and the same 
benevolence of the indulgent heavens. Life is 
common to all, but merit is not. And accordingly 
Roman, Dahan, Sarmatian, Vandal, Hun, Gaetulian, 
Alamannian, Saxon, Galaulian," all walk on the same 
earth, all have the same sky and the same ocean 
bounding our world. And more than that, the 
animals drink of our springs, the same dew that gives 
grass to the wild asses gives me corn, the dirty sow 
bathes in our river, our air enters into the very dogs 
and with its light breath animates the bodies of wild 
beasts. Yet what is Roman and what is barbarian 
are as different from each other as the four-footed 
creature is distinct from the two-footed or the dumb 
from the speaking ; and no less apart are they who 
loyally obey God's commands from senseless cults 
and their superstitions. So the sharing of air and sky 
does not make them alike in their holding to religion ; 
it only produces and nurtures and restores their 

as the " modem " name for the Autololes, an African people 
mentioned by Lucan {IV, 677). 

71 



PRUDENTIUS 

gignit, alit, reparat, recidivaque semina servat. 

nee refert, euius generis cuiusve figurae 

aut cuius meriti : modo sint ut corpora terra 

edita terrenis quibus est vigor ex elementis ; 825 

artificis quia Patris opus discrimine nullo 

influit in medium nee avaro munere currit, 

ante datum quam primus homo sordesceret Adam. 

nee vitio utentum restrictum deficit aut se 

subtrahit indignis, nee foeda et turpia vitat. 830 

haud aliter solis radius, cum luminat omnes 

difFuso splendore locos, ferit aurea tecta, 

sed ferit et nigro sordentia culmina fumo. 

intrat marmoribus Capitolia clara, sed intrat 

carceris et rimas et taetra foramina clausi 835 

stercoris et spurcam redolenti in fornice cellam. 

sed non illud erunt obscura ergastula, quod sunt 

regia gemmato laquearia fulva metallo. 

nempe magis non illud erunt, qui numen in urnis 

quaerunt ac tumulis et larvas sanguine placant, 840 

quod sunt qui summum caeli Dominum venerantur 

iustitiamque litant et templum pectoris ornant. 

secretum sed grande nequit rationis opertae 

quaeri aliter quam si sparsis via multiplicetur 

tramitibus, et centenos terat orbita calles 845 

quaesitura Deum variata indage latentem. 

longe aliud verum est ; nam multa amba go viarum 

anfractus dubios habet et perplexius errat ; 



" I.e. through the interstices of the leafy boughs with 
which, as Varro {Res Rusticae, I, 13, 4) recommends, the sides 
and top of the dung-heap are covered from the sun. 

72 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

bodies and maintains the recurring generations. 
And it matters not of what kind or shape or merit 
they are, provided they are born of earth as bodies 
drawing their energy from earthly elements ; because 
the work of the Father and Creator flows into a 
common stock making no distinction, and runs on 
with no stinted liberality, having been given before 
the first man Adam defiled himself. It is not re- 
stricted or cut short by the fault of the users, it does 
not withdraw itself from the unworthy nor shun 
what is foul and base. In the same way the sun's 
ray, when it scatters its brightness and lights up all 
places, strikes on golden roofs, but strikes also on 
roof-tops that are begrimed with black smoke. It 
enters the Capitol which shines bright with its 
marbles, but it enters also the chinks of the prison- 
house and the noisome openings in the cover of the 
dung-heap <* and the filthy chamber in the stinking 
brothel. But that will not make dark jails the 
same as kings' palaces where the pannelled ceilings 
are yellow with gem-encrusted gold; still less will 
those who seek for divinity in funeral-urns and tombs 
and propitiate ghosts with blood be the same as those 
who worship the supreme Lord of the heavens, 
offering to Him the sacrifice of righteousness and 
embellishing for Him a temple in their heart. But, 
says he, the grand secret of mysterious truth can 
only be sought out by a multiplicity of ways and 
wide-spread tracks ; the course which is to search 
out the hidden God must trace Him by diverse 
ways and tread a hundred paths. Far other is the 
reality; for much going about of ways involves 
windings and uncertainties and more confused 
wandering; none but the single way is free from 

73 



PRUDENTIUS 

sola errore caret simplex via, nescia flecti 

in diverticulum, biviis nee pluribus anceps. 850 

Non tamen infitior duplex occurrere nobis 
semper iter, geminis mortalia partibus ire, 
cum dubitant quonam ferat ignorantia gressum. 
altera multifida est, at simplex altera et una ; 
una Deum sequitur, divos colit altera plures, 855 
et tot sunt eius divortia quot templorum 
signa, quot aereis volitant phantasmata monstris. 
aut hos thyrsigeri rapit ad Dionysia Bacchi, 
inlicit aut alios ad Saturnalia festa, 
aut docet occultus quae sacra Diespiter infans 860 
inter tinnitus solvi sibi poscat aenos. 
iamque Lupercales ferulae nudique petuntur 
discursus iuvenum ; Megalesius hinc spado diris 
incensus furiis caeca ad responsa vocatur. 
sunt qui quadriviis brevioribus ire parati 865 

vilia Niliacis venerantur holuscula in hortis, 
porrum et caepe deos inponere nubibus ausi, 
alliaque et senapin ^ caeli super astra locare. 

^ The MSS. have serapen {Bergman) or serapin. senapin is 
0. Meyer''8 emendation. 



" A wand or staff borne by Bacchus (Dionysus) and his 
attendants. It was wreathed with ivy and vine-leaves, and 
topped with a pine-cone. 

* The SatumaUa, lasting for several days from December 
17th, began with sacrifices but were mainly kept as a time of 
holiday with feasting and jollity. Presents were given 
between friends, and slaves were treated as free. 

" The Curetes by beating brass on brass in their dance 
drowned the cries of the infant Jupiter in Crete and so kept 
the secret of his concealment. (See note on line 492 and cf. 
Lucretius, II, 629-639.) Diespiter is explained as an old 
nominative case which in ordinary use was displaced by its 
vocative luppiter. 

74 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMA(\ 

straying, the way where there is no turning asid^ 
a by-road nor hesitation at a number of forks. \ 

Yet I do not deny that a double path always ct.i- 
fronts us and that mortality goes two ways, in uncer- 
tainty as to where its ignorance is carrying its step. 
The one splits into many branches, but the other 
is one and single. One follows after God, the other 
worships a number of deities and has as many offshoots 
as there are statues in the temples or phantoms flit- 
ting about in unsubstantial monstrous shapes. Some 
it carries to the Dionysiac rites of Bacchus with his 
thyrsus ; « others it tempts to the festival of Saturn,*" 
or teaches the rites of which the infant Jupiter in 
hiding demands payment amid the ringing of brass." 
And then they seek after the whips and the running 
about naked of young men at the Lupercalia,'* 
and the Megalesian eunuch, fired with fearful frenzy, 
is called to utter oracles that are dark. Some are 
ready to go by shorter cross-roads and worship 
paltry vegetables in gardens by the Nile, daring to 
set leek and onion in the clouds as gods and put 
garlic and mustard above the stars in the sky.« For 

•* A very ancient festival at Rome, celebrated on February 
loth. Two companies of youths, called Luperci and clad in 
the skins of goats which had been sacrificed, ran round the 
boundaries of the Palatine Hill striking at the spectators 
(especially women) with strips of goat-hide. 

* There is no evidence that the Egyptians as a nation did 
this. The source of these lines is probably Juvenal, 15, 1-11, 
where it is said that Egyptians think it sacrilege to eat leek or 
onion. This may have been true of some Egyptians in Roman 
times; or it may only be that some abstained from eating 
them; the Israelites in Egypt could eat leeks, onions and 
garlic freely (Numbers, xi, 5). Animals were venerated in 
various ways; in some cases gods were conceived of as 
animals or part-animal, and certain animals were sacred to 
certain gods. 

75 



PRUDENTIUS 

Isis enim et Serapis et grandi simia cauda 
et crocodilus idem quod luno, Laverna, Priapus. 870 
hos tu, Nile, colis, illos tu, Thybris, adoras : 
una superstitio est, quamvis non concolor error, 
hinc alia exoritur tenebrosis tecta frutectis 
semita, quam peeudes et muta animalia carpunt 
quaeque latent silvis : operitur nescia caeli 875 

mens hominum saevo vivens captiva tyranno. 
haec putat esse Deum nullum, namque omnia verti 
casibus, et nuUo sub praeside saecla rotari. 
hoc iter haudquaquam magno discrimine distat 
hisce viis quas vos teritis, qui numina multa 880 

et portenta deum summum numerosa putatis. 
simplicis ergo viae dux est Deus, ille per unam 
ire iubet mortale genus, quam dirigit ipse 
sublimem dextro celsa ad fastigia clivo. 
prima viae facies inculta, subhorrida, tristis, 885 

difficilis, sed fine sui pulcherrima et amplis 
praedita divitiis et abundans luce perenni, 
et quae praeteritos possit pensare labores. 
multiplici dux daemon adest, qui parte sinistra 
centifidum confundit iter ; trahit inde sophistas 890 
barbatos, trahit hinc opibus vel honore potentes ; 
inlicit et volucrum Unguis et haruspice fallit, 
instigat bacchantis anus ambage Sibyllae, 
involvit mathesi, magicas inpellit in artes, 



" A patroness of thieves and tricksters. Cf. Horace 
Epistles, I, 16, 60. 

* See note on I, 111. 

" The Romans characteristically personified chance as the 
goddess Fortuna, on the vogue of whom in common life see 
Pliny, Nat. Hist. II, 22. 

" Cf. Hamart. 789 ff. 

76 




A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

Isis and Serapis and the Ape with the great tail and 
the Crocodile are the same thing as Juno, Laverna," 
Priapus.* Those thou dost worship, O Nile; these 
thou, O Tiber, dost venerate. It is the same super- 
stition, though the error wears a different hue. 
Elsewhere there starts another path, which is hidden 
under bushes in the dark, and along it cattle, dumb 
animals, creatures that hide in the woods, make 
their way : it is where the mind of man is covered 
over, knowing nothing of heaven and living in 
captivity under a cruel despot. It thinks there is no 
God, for all things are moved by chance and the ages 
whirl round under no governor.*' This route is 
separated by no great distance from these ways which 
you tread, you who think there are many deities, 
a crowd of supreme gods who are mere monstro- 
sities. It is a single path, then, on which God is our 
guide ; He bids the race of men go by one way, 
which He makes straight high up along the slope on 
the right,** towards the lofty peaks. At first the path 
appears rude, somewhat rough, grim, and hard ; but 
at its end it is most beautiful, furnished with plen- 
teous riches, abounding in everlasting light, and able 
to make up for the toils of the past. On the manifold 
way the guide is the devil, who on the left hand splits 
it into the confusion of a hundred paths. One way 
he drags bearded « philosophers, another way men 
who are mighty in riches or honour. He tempts 
them on with the voices of birds, too, and cheats 
them with soothsaying, incites them with the 
obscurities of a raving old Sibyl, entangles them in 
astrology, drives them on to practise magic arts, 

' The beard, like the staff (Hamart. 402), was characteristic 
of professed philosophers. Cf. Apoth. 200. 

77 



PRUDENTIUS 

omine sollicitat, capit augui-e, territat extis. 895 

cernis ut una via est multis anfractibus errans, 

talem passa ducem qui non sinat ire salutis 

ad Dominum, sed mortis iter per devia monstrat, 

devia pieta bonis brevibus, sed fine sub ipso 

tristia et in subitam praeceps inmersa Charybdem ? 

ite procul, gentes ! consortia nulla viarum 901 

sunt vobis cum plebe Dei ; discedite longe 

et vestrum penetrate chaos, quo vos vocat ille 

praevius infernae perplex a per avia noctis ! 

at nobis vitae Dominum quaerentibus unum 905 

lux iter est et clara dies et gratia simplex, 

spem sequimur gradimurque fide fruimurque futuris, 

ad quae non veniunt praesentis gaudia vitae, 

nee currunt pariter capta et capienda voluptas. 

ultima legati defleta dolore querella est 910 

Palladiis quod farra focis, vel quod stipis ipsis 
virginibixs castisque choris alimenta negentur, 
Vestales solitis fraudentur sumptibus ignes. 
hinc ait et steriles frugescere rarius agros 
et tristem saevire famem, totumque per orbem 915 
mortales pallere inopes ac panis egenos. 
quae tanta extiterit praesenti tempore tamque 

" Of boys and girls. Cf. Horace, Odes, I, 21 ; IV, 6, 29 ff. 
Carm. Saec. 5-8. 

* Gratian in 382 had disendowed the priestly colleges. 
Symmachus (11 fF.) protests most particularly against the 
loss of support and privileges by the Vestal Virgins. These 
were six in number and their chief duty was to tend the sacred 
fire on the " hearth " of the state in the temple of Vesta. 
This goes back to very ancient times; in a primitive com- 

78 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

inveigling them with omens, deceiving them with 
augury, frightening them with entrails of beasts. 
Do you not see how it is but one way, that wanders 
in many windings under a guide who will not let you 
go to the Lord of salvation, but shows you the road 
to death along by-ways — by-ways which are tricked 
out with short-lived benefits but at the end are grim 
and plunge suddenly down headlong to Charybdis ? 
Away, ye pagans ! You have no fellowship in the 
way with the people of God. Depart ye afar, and 
enter into your own darkness, whither that guide 
calls you, who goes before you over tangled ways 
far from the road, in the night of hell ! But for us as 
we seek the Lord of life the one way is light and clear 
day and grace unmixed ; we follow hope, walking by 
faith and enjoying things to come, to which the joys 
of this present life do not attain, for the pleasure that 
is gained already and that is to be gained hereafter 
do not run side by side. 

The deputy's last tearful, sorrowful complaint is 
that sacrificial grain is refused to the altars of Pallas, 
grants to the very Vestals, and maintenance to the 
pure choirs," and that Vesta's fires are cheated of 
their wonted upkeep.* And this, he says, is why our 
fields are barren and their fruits scantier, grim 
famine rages, and over the whole world mankind are 
pale with want and lack of bread. What great, 
malignant famine has arisen at this present time, 

munity it was essential to keep one fire always alight, and the 
duty was probably laid on the daughters of the chief. The 
rites of Vesta were the most central and vital feature of the 
old state religion, and the Virgins were always held in great 
reverence and honour. To this stoppage of support Sym- 
machus attributes a subsequent failure of the harvest and 
other calamities. 

79 



PRUDENTIUS 

invidiosa fames, quam Triptolemi Cererisque 

moverit ira penu pro virginis ulciscendo, 

non memini nee tale aliquid vel fama susurrat. 

audio per Pharios Nilum discurrere campos 921 

more suo viridisque sata stagnare Canopi. 

aut veniat sicco qui flumine nuntius adfert 

ieiunam squalere siti sub pulvere Memphim.. 

nee Pelusiacae limum sudare paludis. 925 

num fons arcano naturae tectus operto 

aruit, et tenuem vix stillat vena liquorem ? 

num refugus nostras odit praestringere ripas 

amnis et exustos cursum deflectit ad Indos ? 

num tractu in medio bibulus vorat alveus undam 930 

fluminis et subito stagna absorbentur hiatu, 

ne sulcos operire vadis neve arida possint 

Aegypti per plana trahi glebasque rigentes 

infusis ad pingue lutum mollire fluentis, 

unde seges late crinitis fluctuet agris, 935 

densius et gravidis se vestiat aequor aristis ? 

respice, num Libyci desistat ruris arator 

frumentis onerare rates et ad ostia Thybris 

mittere triticeos in pastum plebis acervos, 

numne Leontini sulcator solvere campi 940 

cesset frugiferas Lilybeo ex litore cumbas, 



" Triptolemus appears in mythology as commissioned by 
Ceres to be a pioneer of corn-growing. Cf. Ovid, Fasti, 
IV, 550-60, Metamorphoses, V, 645-7. 

* But praesenti tempore, the time at which Prudentius is 
writing, does not indicate the time at which Symmachus 
made the appeal (see Introduction, p. xi). Symmachus says 
distinctly that there was a national scarcity owing to failure 
of crops in the grain-supplying provinces. 

" I.e. Ethiopians, as in the Oeorgics, IV, 293, where Virgil 
also is speaking of the Nile. 

8o 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

caused by the wrath of Triptolemus " and Ceres to 
avenge the Vestal's lost maintenance, I cannot 
think, and even report makes no whisper of such a 
thing.* I do hear it said that Nile spreads over the 
plains of Egypt in his usual way and makes a lake of 
the corn-lands of green Canopus. Else would a 
messenger come with the news that the river is dry 
and Memphis lies barren and parched with drought 
under the dust, while the mud of Pelusium's marsh- 
land has ceased to steam. Has the source which is 
hidden in the deep mystery of nature dried up, its 
spring scarce giving a meagre drop of water ? Has 
the river turned back, not liking to wash our banks, 
and is it diverting its course towards the sunburnt 
Indians ? '^ Does its thirsty channel engulf the 
water of the river in mid course ? Is its stream 
suddenly swallowed down some gaping hole and 
prevented from covering the furrows with its shallow 
sea and spreading over the dry plains of Egypt, 
softening the stiff clods into rich clay soil with the 
inpouring of its flood, so that corn may wave like 
locks of hair far over the fields and the expanse 
of land clothe itself more thickly with full ears ? See 
if the farmer of the African country-side is ceasing to 
load ships with his grain and send to Tiber's mouth 
his heaps of wheat to feed the people, if he who 
furrows the plain of Leontini <* is behind-hand in sail- 
ing his corn-ships from the shore of Lilybaeum,'' 
and the fleet that brings the gathered stores of 

'' In Sicily, which with Egypt, Africa, and Sardinia sup- 
plied most of the grain required at Rome. Letters of Sym- 
machus (VI, 14 and 18; II, 6) show the alarm felt at Rome 
when the revolt of Gildo in Africa in the last years of the 4th 
century threatened to stop the supply from that source. 



PRUDENTIUS 

nee det vela fretis Romana nee horrea rumpat 

Sardorum congesta vehens granaria classis. 

ergo piris mensas silvestribus inplet arator 

Poenus et evulsas Siculus depascitur herbas, 945 

iamque Remi populo quernas Sardinia glandes 

subpeditat, iam corna cibus lapidosa Quiritum ? 

quis venit esuriens magni ad spectaeula eirci ? 

quae regio gradibus vaeuis ieiunia dira 

sustinet ? aut quae lanieuli mola muta quiescit ? 950 

quantos quaeque ferat fruetus provincia quamque 

ubere fecundo large fluat orbis opimus, 

indicio est annona, tuae quae publica plebi, 

Roma, datur tantaeque manus longa otia pascit. 

sit fortasse aliquis paulo infecundior annus : 955 

nil mirum nee in orbe novum, didicere priores 

perpessi plerumque famem, si tabidus aer 

siccavit tenues ardenti sidere nubes 

nee vernas infudit aquas creberrimus imber 

fruge nova et viridi, si messis adulta priusquam 960 

conceptas tenero solidaret lacte medullas, 

adflatum calido sucum contraxit ab euro 

ieiunosque tulit calamos atque inrita vota 

agricolae sterilis stipularum silva fefellit. 

his, ni fallor, ager vitiis corruptus et ante 965 

subiacuit quam Palladium, quam Vesta penates 

sub lare Pergameo servarent igne reposto, 

" For administrative purposes Rome was divided by Augus- 
tus into 14 " regions." 

" See note on I, 582, 

" There were public grain-mills, driven by water, on the 
Janiculum (Platner-Ashby, Topographical Dictionary of 
Ancient Rome, s.v. Molinae). 
82 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

Sardinian barns no longer spreading its canvas on 
the sea and filling the store-houses of Rome to 
bursting. Is the farmer of Carthage, then, filling his 
table with wild pears, he of Sicily feeding on herbage 
he has plucked from the ground? Is Sardinia now 
supplying the people of Remus with acorns from her 
oak trees ? Are stony cornels now the food of the 
Romans ? Who comes hungry to the shows in the 
great circus ? What district " of Rome is enduring 
the horrors of want because the Steps ^ are empty ? 
What mill on Janiculum " is silent and at rest ? 
How great is the produce every province brings, 
with what rich and generous fertility the fruitful 
world abounds, is shown by the food which the state 
gives to thy people, O Rome, and which feeds the 
long idleness of that great multitude. Granted that 
one year is perchance a little less fertile than another, 
that is nothing strange nor a new thing in the world. 
Former generations have learned it by suffering 
hunger often, if a blighting atmosphere dried up the 
thin clouds under a burning sun and there was no 
frequent rain to shed its showers in spring, when the 
crop was young and green ; if the corn grew up 
before it could firm with its tender milk the grains it 
had conceived, and its sap was checked by the breath 
of a hot east wind, so that it produced unfertile stalks 
and a barren forest of straws cheated the farmer's 
hopes and brought them to nothing. To such failings, 
I feel sure, the land was subject and was spoiled by 
them, even before the Palladium or Vesta with her 
fire hid from view kept safe the spirits of the house "^ 

^ Properly of the store-room (penus). They are often 
associated with Vesta, the spirit of the fire. 

83 



PRUDENTIUS 

quam Priami genitor conductis moenia fabris 

extrueret, quam virgo suas fundaret Athenas 

Pallas ; in his quoniam Vestalis origo favillae 970 

urbibus, ut memorant, primo de fomite sumpta est 

sacraruntque focos aut Phryx aut Graius alumnos. 

antiquis elementa labant erroribus, ac de 

legitimo discussa modo plerumque feruntur 

in casus alios quam lex habet aut iter anni. 975 

nunc consumit edax segetem rubigo maligni 

aeris ex vitio, nunc culpam vere tepenti 

post zephyros gelidi glacies aquilonis inurit 

ambustumque caput culmi fuligine tinguit ; 

seminis aut teneri turgens dum germinat herba, 980 

continuis nimiisque perit constricta pruinis 

nee potis est tenuem telluri adfigere fibram ; 

mox eiecta solo glacie sidente superfit 

nudaque subducto radix avellitur arvo. 

ancipites tribuli subeunt et carduus horrens ; 985 

hos fert sicca sitis, hunc ebrius educat umor. 

temperies efFusa minus vel plus agit istos 

terrarum morbos et mundum vulnerat aegrum. 

non aliter nostri corruptus corporis usus 

in vitium plerumque cadit nee in ordine recto 990 

perstat et excessu moderaminis adficit artus ; 

unus enim status est mundique et corporis huius 

quod gerimus ; natura eadem sustentat utrumque. 

edita de nihilo crescunt, nihilumque futura 



" Laomedon, who employed the gods Poseidon and Apollo 
to build the walls of Troy but afterwards refused them the 
payment he had promised. 

* Vesta is identical with the Greek Hestia. Virgil (Aeneid, 
II, 293-7) represents the spirit of Hector instructing Aeneas 
to take Vesta and the Penates of Troy from the burning city 
to the new home which he was destined to found. 

84 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

under a Trojan roof; before Priam's father" hired 
workmen to build his walls, before the maiden Pallas 
founded her own dear Athens — for it was in these 
cities, as they tell, that the Vestal fire was first 
caught from the primal touchwood, and Phrygian or 
Greek fed the hearths and held them sacred.* The 
deviations and unsteadiness of the elements are 
ancient ; they are often shaken out of their proper 
limits and rush into happenings which do not belong 
to their law or the course of the year. Sometimes 
wasting rust consumes the crop, arising from a taint 
and malignity in the air ; sometimes in a warm spring 
after the west winds have blown, an icy blast from 
the cold north burns a fault into the corn, staining 
the blighted head of the stalk soot-black ; or while 
the blade is sprouting and swelling from the tender 
seed it is shrivelled and killed by uninterrupted hard 
frosts ; it cannot fix its slender tissue in the earth, 
and then as the frost goes deeper it is forced out of 
the ground and lies above it, the bare root torn away 
with no soil to cover it. Twin-spiked caltrops and the 
prickly thistle come up, those produced by parching 
drought, this by soaking moisture. The weather by 
defect or excess brings on these plagues of the earth 
and sickens and hurts the world. In the same way 
the functioning of our body often goes wrong and 
lapses into some imperfection ; it does not continue 
in the right system, and by getting out of control 
brings disease on our organs. For the constitution 
of the world and of this body which we wear is one ; 
it is the same nature that upholds both. Produced 
from nothing they grow up, and because they are 
destined to return to nothingness they either become 
infirm through disease or they are overcome by time 

85 



PRUDENTIUS 

aut titubant morbis aut tempore victa senescunt, 

nee natura caret vitio, cui terminus instat. 996 

semper, crede, polus variis proventibus annos 

texuit : hos multa ditavit fruge fluentes, 

quosdam infelices astris damnavit iniquis, 

spe cassa et sterili curam frustratus agrestem. 1000 

sed si Vestales ulciscitur ista puellas 

pestis, ab infido quae gignitur inproba mundo, 

cur non Christicolum tantum populatur agellos, 

per quos virginibus vestris stata dona negantur ? 

utimur et ruris reditu et ratione colendi, 1005 

exercere manum non paenitet : et lapis illic 

si stetit, antiquus quern cingere sueverat error 

fasceolis vel gallinae pulmone rogare, 

frangitur et nullis violatur Terminus extis, 

et quae fumificas arbor vittata lucernas 1010 

servabat, cadit ultrici succisa bipenni. 

nee tamen idcirco minor est aut fructus agelli 

aut tempestatis dementia laeta serenae, 

temperet aut pluvius qui culta novalia ventus. 

sed nee magno opus est frugi viventibus, et cum 

maxima proveniunt non amplo in gaudia censu 1016 

solvimur inque lucrum studio exultamus avaro. 

nam quibus aeternum spes informatur in aevum, 

omne bonum tenue est quod praesens ingerit aetas. 

" The boundary stone, which from early times was an 
object of veneration. From the numen or spirit residing in it 
the notion of the god Terminus developed. His festival was 
celebrated in February (Ovid, Fasti, II, 639 ff.). The 
boundary mark, which might be not a stone but a tree- 
stump (Ovid, I.e. 641-2) or a tree (c/. line 1010 and Horace, 
Epistles, II, 2, 170), was then decorated, and sacrifice was 

86 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

and grow old and feeble ; a nature which is doomed 
to have an end is not free from imperfection. At all 
times, be assured, the sky has woven the fabric of 
the years with varying increase. Some it has en- 
riched with great abundance of produce, some it has 
doomed to be ill-starred and barren, disappointing the 
countryman's labour with hopes that turned out to be 
empty and unfruitful. But if this cruel curse, which 
arises from a world we cannot trust, is avenging the 
Vestal maids, why does it not waste only the 
Christians' fields, since it is through them that the 
established gifts are refused to your Virgins ? We 
have the benefit of the return from our land and our 
method of tillage, and have no cause to regret the 
labour of our hands : and if a stone " has stood there 
which ancient superstition used to gird with bands 
and petition with a hen's lights, it is broken now and 
Terminus is profaned by having no offering of 
entrails, and the tree that was decked with ribbons 
and used to hold smoking lanterns is felled by the 
stroke of the avenging axe. But the produce of the 
land is none the less for all that, nor the weather less 
mild and cheerful and bright, nor the wind reduced, 
which brings rain to allay the thirst of the ground 
we have broken up and tilled. Yet men who live 
soberly have no need of much, and when crops are 
very plentiful we do not let ourselves go in pleasures 
by reason of our abundant riches, nor do we spring 
to seize the profit with greedy desire. For to those 
whose hope is shaped for eternity every good thing 
which this present life brings is slight. Thrice happy 

ofiFered to the god by the neighbouring owners. The use of 
gallinae pulmo in this connection is not elsewhere mentioned ; 
Ovid speaks of a lamb or a sucking pig. 

87 



PRUDENTIUS 

o felix nimium, sapiens et rusticus idem, 1020 

qui terras animumque colens inpendit utrisque 

curam pervigilem, quales quos inbuit auctor 

Christus, et adsumptis dedit haec praecepta colonis : 

" semina cum sulcis committitis, arva cavete 

dura lapillorum macie, ne decidat illic 1025 

quod seritur, primo quoniam praefertile germen 

luxuriat, suco mox deficiente sub aestu 

sideris igniferi sitiens torretur et aret ; 

neve in spinosos incurrant semina vepres, 

aspera nam segetem surgentem vincula texunt 1030 

ac fragiles calamos nodis rubus artat acutis ; 

et ne iacta viae spargantur in aggere grana, 

haec avibus quia nuda patent passimque vorantur 

inmundisque iacent foeda ad ludibria corvis." 

his Deus agricolam confirmat legibus ; ille 1035 

ius caeleste Patris non summa intelUgit aure, 

sed simul et cordis segetem disponit et agri, 

ne minus interno niteant praecordia cultu 

quam cum laeta suas ostentant iugera messes. 

extirpamus enim sentos de pectore vepres, 1040 

ne vitiosa necent germen vitale flagella, 

ne frugem segetemque animae spinosa malorum 

inpediat sentix scelerum peccamine crebro, 

glarea ne tenuis ieiunis siccet harenis 

marcentem sub corde fidem, ne pectoris aestus 1045 

flagret et efFetis urat charismata venis, 

denique ne iecoris detrita in parte relinquat 

vilis cura Deum, ne spem, qua vescimur intus, 

deserat obscenisque avibus permittat edendam, 

et proiecta fides hosti sit praeda volucri. 1050 

88 



'i 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

he, wise man and countryman too, who tends land 
and soul and spends sleepless care on both, like 
those whom Christ our Founder taught, and when he 
took them on as labourers in the field, thus instructed : 
" When you commit the seeds to the furrows, beware 
of ground that is hard, stony, and poor, lest that which 
is sown fall there, for at first the shoot is very fertile 
and grows abundantly, but then the sap fails and 
the thirsty plant is scorched and dried up under 
the heat of the flaming sun. And let not the seeds 
run among thorny bushes, for their rough thongs 
entwine the corn as it rises, and the bramble chokes 
the frail stalks with its piercing bonds. Nor let the 
grains you cast be scattered on the highway, for 
these are exposed to the birds and are all devoured, 
lying there for uncleanly crows to make foul sport 
of them." With these rules does God encourage the 
farmer, and he lets the Father's heavenly law sink 
into his ear and understanding, so managing the 
corn-land both in soul and field that his breast shall 
be no less well-conditioned through cultivation 
within, than his smiling acres when they display their 
harvest. For we root out the rough thorns from the 
heart, lest their vicious trailers kill the shoot of life 
and the prickly brier of hurtful wickedness choke the 
fruit that is the crop of the soul with many a sin, 
or light gravelly soil with barren sand dry up the 
faith and wither it in our heart, or heat burn in the 
breast and scorch the spiritual gifts in the exhausted 
flesh, or poor attention leave God where the heart's 
affections are worn away, and abandon the hope 
on which our inner nature feeds, leaving it to be eaten 
up by ill-boding birds, and the faith be cast away 
and become the prey of our winged enemy. Skill like 

89 



PRUDENTIUS 

talis nostrorum sollertia centiplicatos 
agrorum rediget fructus, quibus acrius instat, 
nee metuit ne congestum populetur aeervum 
curculio vel nigra cavis formica reeondat. 
sunt et virginibus puleherrima praemia nostris : 1055 
et pudor et sancto tectus velamine vultus, 
et privatus honos nee nota et publica forma, 
et rarae tenuesque epulae et mens sobria semper, 
lexque pudicitiae vitae cum fine peracta. 
hinc decies deni rediguntur in horrea fructus, 1060 
horrea nocturno non umquam obnoxia furi, 
nam caelum fur nullus adit, caelestia numquam 
fraude resignantur ; fraus terris volvitur imis. 
quae nunc Vestalis sit virginitatis honestas 
discutiam, qua lege regat decus omne pudoris. 1065 
ac primum parvae teneris capiuntur in annis, 
ante voluntatis propriae quam libera secta, 
laude pudicitiae fervens et amore deorum, 
iusta maritandi condemnet ^ vincula sexus. 
captivus pudor ingratis addicitur aris, 1070 

nee contempta perit miseris sed adempta voluptas 
corporis intacti : non mens intacta tenetur, 
nee requies datur ulla toris, quibus innuba caecum 
vulnus et amissas suspirat femina taedas ; 
tum quia non totum spes salva interficit ignem, 

^ condemnat Bergman with some MSS. 

" Communities of nuns had developed along with the 
monastic movement which, originating in the eastern part of 
the empire, spread to the west in the 4th century. The 
contrast here implied between them and the Vestals is brought 
out explicitly in Hnes 1064-1113. 

* The girl must be not less than six nor more than ten 
years old. " Taken " is a technical term. At one time 
names of girls who had certain necessary qualifications were 

90 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

this will bring returns an hundredfold from our lands, 
where it applies itself with ardour, fearing not lest 
weevil lay waste the gathered store or black ant stow 
it away in its holes. Our virgins too have their noble 
rewards — modesty, the face covered with the holy 
veil, honour in private while their figure is unknown 
to the public, feasts seldom and slight, a spirit ever 
temperate, a law of chastity that is discharged only 
with death. « Hence fruit an hundredfold is brought 
into their barns, barns never exposed to a thief in 
the night, for no thief assails heaven, and the seal of 
heavenly things is never broken by dishonesty ; it is 
on the earth below that dishonesty is planned. 

Now I shall examine the high repute of the Vestals' 
virginity, and the justice of its claim to be the 
standard for all the honour paid to purity. In the 
first place, they are taken in the tender years of 
childhood,* before a free choice of their own will, 
burning with zeal for the glory of chastity and love 
of their gods, can reject the lawful bonds of matri- 
mony. Their purity is taken prisoner and made 
over to thankless altars. In the poor girls the 
gratification of the body disappears not because it is 
scorned but because it is taken from them ; the body 
is kept immaculate, but not the mind, and there is no 
rest on a bed on which the unwedded woman sighs 
over a secret wound and the lost chance of marriage. 
And then hope survives and so the fire is not wholly 

drawn by lot, but later it became customary for fathers to 
offer their daughters; in either case the Pontifex Maximus 
laid his hand on the girl and repeated a formula which ended 
with the words " I take you, Amata." She was then con- 
ducted to the Atrium Vestae (the house of the Vestals) and 
passed out of her father's legal control (A. Gellius, Nodes 
Atticae, I, 12). 

91 



PRUDENTIUS 

nam resides quandoque faces adolere licebit 1076 

festaque decrepitis obtendere flammea canis ; 

tempore praescripto membra intemerata requirens 

tandem virgineam fastidit Vesta senectam. 

dum thalamis habilis tumuit vigor, inrita nullus 1080 

fecundavit amor materno viscera partu ; 

nubit anus veterana sacro perfuncta labore, 

desertisque focis, quibus est famulata iuventas, 

transfert emeritas ad fulcra iugalia rugas, 

discit et in gelido nova nupta tepescere lecto. 1085 

interea dura torta vagos ligat infula crines 

fatalesque adolet prunas innupta sacerdos, 

fertur per medias ut publica pompa plateas 

pilento residens molli, seque ore retecto 

inputat attonitae virgo spectabilis urbi. 1090 

inde ad consessum caveae pudor almus et expers 

sanguinis it pietas hominum visura cruentos 

congressus mortesque et vulnera vendita pastu 

spectatura sacris oculis. sedet ilia verendis 

vittarum insignis phaleris fruiturque lanistis. 1095 

o tenerum mitemque animum ! consurgit ad ictus 

et, quotiens victor ferrum iugulo inserit, ilia 

delicias ait esse suas, pectusque iacentis 

virgo modesta iubet converso pollice rumpi, 

ne lateat pars ulla animae vitalibus imis, 1100 



" The Vestal could retire and marry after thirty years' 
service, but according to Plutarch {Numa, 10) few did so. 
Tacitus {Annals, II, 86) records an instance of fifty-seven 
years' service. 

* Gladiators were commonly slaves, convicts, or prisoners 
of war, but in imperial times there were also volunteers, who 
received food and wages. They were trained in special 
schools and hired out. Cf. the bestiarii to whom reference is 
made in Hamart. 372. 

92 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

killed; for one day it will be lawful to light up the 
sleeping torches and throw the glad bridal veil over 
aged, gray-haired figures ; Vesta demands an 
immaculate body for an appointed time, but in the 
end disdains a virgin old age." As long as swelling 
vigour made them marriageable their flesh remained 
fruitless ; no love made it fertile in motherhood. 
But the old veteran who has discharged her sacred 
duty marries ; deserting the hearth which her youth 
served, she carries her time-expired wrinkles to the 
matrimonial couch and as a bride learns to grow warm 
in a cold bed. Meantime, while the twisted band 
fastens her straying locks and the unwedded priestess 
keeps the fire of destiny burning, she is carried along 
the middle of the streets in a sort of solemn public 
procession, sitting in a cushioned car, and with face 
uncovered obliges an awe-struck city with a sight of 
the admired Virgin. Then on to the gathering in 
the amphitheatre passes this figure of life-giving 
purity and bloodless piety, to see bloody battles 
and deaths of human beings and look on with holy 
eyes at wounds men suffer for the price of their keep.* 
There she sits conspicuous with the awe-inspiring 
trappings of her head-bands and enjoys what the 
trainers have produced. What a soft, gentle heart ! 
She rises at the blows, and every time a victor stabs 
his victim's throat she calls him her pet ; the modest 
virgin with a turn of her thumb «^ bids him pierce the 
breast of his fallen foe so that no remnant of life shall 
stay lurking deep in his vitals while under a deeper 

" PoUicem vertere describes a gesture by which the spec- 
tators indicated their pleasure that a defeated gladiator 
should be dispatched. What the gesture exactly was is not 
clear. 

93 



PRUDENTIUS 

altius inpresso dum palpitat ense secutor. 

hoc illud meritum est, quod continuare feruntur 

excubias Latii pro maiestate Palati, 

quod redimunt vitam populi procerumque salutem, 

perfundunt quia colla comis bene vel bene cingunt 

tempora taeniolis et licia crinibus addunt, 1106 

et quia subter humum lustrales testibus umbris 

in flammam iugulant pecudes et murmura miscent ? 

an quoniam podii meliore in parte sedentes 

spectant aeratam faciem quam crebra tridenti 1110 

inpacto quatiant hastilia, saucius et quam 

vulneribus patulis partem perfundat harenae 

cum fugit, et quanto vestigia sanguine signet ? 

quod genus ut sceleris iam nesciat aurea Roma, 

te precor, Ausonii dux augustissime regni, 1115 

et tam triste sacrum iubeas, ut cetera, tolli. 

perspice, nonne vacat meriti locus iste paterni, 

quem tibi supplendum Deus et genitoris amica 

servavit pietas ? solus ne praemia tantae 

virtutis caperet, " partem tibi, nate, reservo " 1120 

dixit, et integrum decus intactumque reliquit. 

adripe dilatam tua, dux, in tempora famam, 

" The secutor is properly one type of gladiator, so called 
because he " pursued " the retiarius against whom he was 
pitted and who was armed with a trident (c/. line 1110) and a 
net which he tried to throw over his pursuer. 

* The Vestals were present with the Flamen Quirinalis at 
the sacrifice to Consus (a spirit associated with the storing of 
the harvest), which took place at an altar below the level of 
the ground (TertuUian, De Spectacidis, 5); but though the 
Vestals may have had prayers to say, the sacrificer would be 
the flamen. As the altar was underground, ghosts, according 
to ancient ideas, would be likely to prowl there. 

94 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

thrust of the sword the fighter * lies in the agony of 
death. Does their great service lie in this, that they 
are said to keep constant watch on behalf of the 
greatness of Latium's Palatine city, that they 
undertake to preserve the life of her people and the 
wellbeing of her nobles, let their locks spread nicely 
over their necks or nicely wreathe their brows with 
dainty ribbons and lay strings on their hair, and 
below the ground in presence of ghosts cut the throats 
of cattle over the flames in propitiatory sacrifice, and 
mutter indistinct prayers ? * Or is it that they sit 
in the better seats on the balcony '^ and watch how 
often the shaft batters the bronze-helmed face with 
blows of its three-pronged head, from what gaping 
gashes the wounded gladiator bespatters his side of 
the arena when he flees, and with how much blood he 
marks his traces ? That golden Rome may no more 
know this kind of sin is my prayer to you, most 
august Head of the Ausonian realm, and that you 
would command this grim rite <* to be abolished like 
the rest. See, has not your father's merit left this 
space unoccupied, and God and your sire's kindly 
affection kept it for you to fill up ? So that he 
should not take for hijnself alone the rewards of his 
great goodness, he has said " I keep back a portion 
for you, my son," and left the honour for you un- 
diminished and unimpaired. Grasp the glory that 
has been reserved for your times, our leader, and as 

" A raised platform facing the arena, on which seats were 
assigned to dignitaries. Augustus also gave the Vestals 
special seats in the theatre. 

** Cf. 1125 and I, 379 IF. where Prudentius represents the 
dead gladiators as sacrificed to Dis, ruler of the world pf 
dead. 



PRUDENTIUS 

quodque patri superest, successor laudis habeto. 

ille urbem vetuit taurorum sanguine tingui : 

tu mortes miserorum hominum prohibeto litari. 1125 

nullus in urbe cadat, cuius sit poena voluptas, 

nee sua virginitas oblectet caedibus ora. 

iam solis contenta feris infamis harena 

nulla cruentatis homicidia ludat in armis. 

sit devota Deo, sit tanto principe digna 1130 

et virtute potens et criminis inscia Roma, 

quemque ducem bellis sequitur, pietate sequatur. 



96 



A REPLY TO ADDRESS OF SYMMACHUS 

your father's successor possess the credit he has left 
over. He forbade that the city should be wetted 
with the blood of bulls ; do you command that the 
dead bodies of wretched men be not offered in 
sacrifice. Let no man fall at Rome that his suffer- 
ing may give pleasure, nor Virgins delight their 
eyes with slaughter upon slaughter. Let the ill- 
famed arena be content now with wild beasts only, 
and no more make a sport of murder with blood- 
stained weapons.* Let Rome dedicate herself to 
God ; let her be worthy of her great emperor, being 
both mighty in valour and innocent of sin ; let her 
follow in goodness the leader she follows in war. 

" Combats of gladiators were abolished in 404. 



97 

VOL. II. E 



PERISTEPHANON LIBER 
I 

Hymnus in Honorem Sanctorum Martyrum 
Emeterii et Chelidonii Calagurritanorum. 

ScRiPTA sunt caelo duorum martyrum vocabula, 
aureis quae Christus illic adnotavit litteris, 
sanguinis notis eadem scripta terris tradidit. 

pollet hoc felix per orbem terra Hibera stemmate, 
hie locus dignus tenendis ossibus visus Deo, 5 

qui beatorum pudicus esset hospes corporum. 

hie calentes hausit undas caede tinctus duplici, 
inlitas cruore sancto nunc harenas incolae 
eonfrequentant obsecrantes voce, votis, munere. 

exteri nee non et orbis hue colonus advenit, 10 
fama nam terras in omnes percucurrit proditrix 
hie patronos esse mundi, quos precantes ambiant. 

nemo puras hie rogando frustra congessit preces ; 
laetus hinc tersis revertit supplicator fletibus 
omne quod iustum poposcit inpetratum sentiens. 15 

tanta pro nostris perielis cura suffragantium est, 
non sinunt inane ut ullus voce murmur fuderit, 



" They were soldiers who had refused to serve any longer 
(of. 31-39, 61-66), like the centurion Marcellus, whose story is 
told by Gibbon (chap. xvi). Prudentius imphes (40 ff.) that a 
general persecution was in progress, but the oral tradition on 
which he had to rely did not know the time at which they 

98 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM 



A Hymn in Honour of the Holy Martyrs 
Emeterius and Chelidonius of Calagurris, 

Written in heaven are the names of two martyrs ;<* 
Christ has entered them there in letters of gold, 
while on earth He has recorded them in characters of 
blood. For this glory the land of Spain has the for- 
tune to be held in honour through all the world. 
This spot has seemed to God worthy to keep their 
bones, pure enough to be host to their blessed bodies. 
It drank in the warm stream when it was wetted 
by the slaughter of the twain, and now its people 
throng to visit the ground that was coloured with 
their holy blood, making petitions with voice and 
heart and gifts ; and dwellers in the outside world 
too come here, for report has run through all lands 
publishing the news that here are patrons of the 
whole earth whose favour they may seek by prayer. 
No man here in making his requests has offered 
sincerely prayer on prayer in vain ; from here the 
petitioner returns happy, with his tears dried, and 
conscious that all his righteous requests have been 
granted. With such concern for our perils do they 
work for us that they suffer no whisper any man has 

suffered (73-78). Calagurris (Calahorra) was the chief town 
of the Vascones (cf. 94). 

99 



PRUDENTIUS 

audiunt statimque ad aurem regis aeterni ferunt. 

inde larga fonte ab ipso dona terris influunt, 
supplicum causas petitis quae raedellis inrigant. 20 
nil suis bonus negavit Christus umquam testibus, 

testibus quos nee catenae, dura nee mors terruit 
unicum Deum fateri sanguinis dispendio, 
sanguinis, sed tale damnum lux rependit longior. 

hoc genus mortis decorum est, hoc probis dignum 
viris, 25 

membra morbis exedenda, texta venis languidis, 
hostico donare ferro, morte et hostem vincere. 

pulchra res ictum sub ense persecutoris pati. 
nobilis per vulnus amplum porta iustis panditur : 
lota mens in fonte rubro sede cordis exilit. 30 

nee rudem crudi laboris ante vitam duxerant 
milites quos ad perenne cingulum Christus vocat. 
sueta virtus bello et armis militat sacrariis.^ 

Caesaris vexilla linquunt, eligunt signum crucis 
proque ventosis draconum, quos gerebant, palliis 35 
praeferunt insigne lignum, quod draconem subdidit. 

vile censent expeditis ferre dextris spicula, 
machinis murum ferire, castra fossis cingere, 
inpias manus cruentis inquinare stragibus. 

forte tunc atrox secundos Istrahelis posteros 40 

^ A has nunc fidei militat, which Bergman prints. 



<• The banner referred to at Cath. v, 56. 

^" In a Roman will a " second heir " was one who succeeded 
if the first heir failed or did not accept the inheritance. 
Similarly, the Christianised gentiles became heirs to the 
inheritance of Israel because the Jews refused it. 

lOO 



I 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, I 



uttered to go for naught ; they listen to our prayer 
and straightway carry it to the ear of the everlasting 
King. Hence gifts flow generously on to earth from 
the very fountain-head, pouring on the petitioners' 
maladies the healing remedies they sought for. 
For Christ in his goodness has never refused aught to 
his witnesses, — witnesses whom neither chains nor 
cruel death deterred from confessing the one God 
at the cost of their blood, yes, their blood, but such 
loss is repayed by life prolonged. It is an honourable 
way of death and one that becomes good men, to 
make of the body, which is a fabric of feeble flesh and 
doomed to be wasted by disease, a gift to the enemy's 
sword, and by death to overcome the foe. A noble 
thing it is to suifer the stroke of the persecutor's 
sword ; through the wide wound a glorious gateway 
opens to the righteous, and the soul, cleansed in 
the scarlet baptism, leaps from its seat in the 
breast. 

No stranger to harsh toil was the past life of the 
soldiers whom Christ was calling to his everlasting 
service ; it was valour used to war and arms that now 
fought for the altars. They abandoned Caesar's 
ensigns, choosing the standard of the cross, and in 
place of the swelling draperies of the serpents " 
which they used to carry, led the way with the 
glorious wood which subdued the serpent. They 
deemed it of little worth to carry javelins in hands 
ready for action, to batter a wall with engines of 
war, to gird a camp with ditches and stain godless 
hands with bloody slaughterings. 

It happened at that time that the cruel head of 
the government of the world had commanded the 
second successors * of Israel to go to the altar and 



lOI 




PRUDENTIUS 

ductor aulae mundialis ire ad aram iusserat, 
idolis litare nigris, esse Christi defugas. 

liberam succincta ferro pestis urgebat fidem ; 
ilia virgas et secures et bisulcas ungulas 
ultro fortis expetebat Christi amore interrita. 45 

career inligata duris coUa bacis inpedit, 
barbaras forum per omne tortor exercet manus, 
Veritas crimen putatur, vox fidelis plectitur. 

tunc et ense caesa virtus triste percussit solum 
et rogis ingesta maestis ore flammas sorbuit. 50 

dulce tunc iustis cremari, dulce ferrum perpeti. 

hie duorum cara fratrum concalescunt pectora, 
fida quos per omne tempus iunxerat sodalitas. 
stant parati ferre quidquid sors tulisset ultima, 54 

seu foret praebenda cervix ad bipennem publicam 
verberum post vim crepantum, post catastas igneas, 
sive pardis ofFerendum pectus aut leonibus. 

" nosne Christo procreati mammonae dicabimur 
et Dei formam gerentes serviemus saeculo ? 
absit ut caelestis ignis se tenebris misceat. 60 

sit satis quod capta primo vita sub chirograph© 
debitum persolvit omne functa rebus Caesaris ; 
tempus est Deo rependi quidquid est proprium Dei. 

ite, signorum magistri, et vos, tribuni, absistite. 
aureos auferte torques, sauciorum praemia ! 65 

clara nos hinc angelorum iam vocant stipendia. 

Christus illic candidatis praesidet cohortibus, 



" An iron instrument of torture. 

* As Eulalia is said to have done (III, 159-160). 

« Catasta is properly a stand or platform on which slaves 
were exposed for sale, and also on which martyrs were tor- 
tured; but the word is sometimes applied to the engine of 
torture itself. 

102 



I 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, I 



offer sacrifice to black idols, becoming deserters 
from Christ. A persecution armed with the sword 
was pressing hard on the freedom of the faith, but the 
faith in fortitude chose ardently the scourge and 
axe and double claws,« for the love of Christ made 
her dauntless. The prison-house fettered men's 
necks with hard links and held them fast, the 
torturer plied his savage hands at every assize, 
integrity was reckoned a crime and faithful speech 
was punished. Then was goodness cut down with 
the sword and smote the unhappy ground, or laid 
on the sorrowful pyre it sucked the flames in 
through the mouth ; ^ sweet was it then for the 
righteous to be burned or to suffer the sword. 
Hereupon two brothers' loving hearts grew warm. 
Faithful comradeship had ever united them, and 
now they stood ready to bear whatsoever their 
fortune's extremity should bring, whether they 
must submit their necks to the executioner's axe 
after suffering the assault of the cracking scourge or 
the burning-hot gridiron,*' or must present their 
breasts to leopards or lions. " Shall we who are 
children of Christ dedicate ourselves to Mammon ? 
Shall we who wear the likeness of God be slaves to the 
world? Never may the heavenly fire mingle with 
darkness. Be it enough that our life, taken over 
under the bond we gave first, has paid its debt in 
full and done with the things of Caesar ; now it is 
time to repay to God all that belongs to God. Away, 
ye masters of the standards ! Stand off, ye tribunes ! 
Take away the gold circlets that our wounds have 
won. The noble service of the angels calls us now 
from here. There Christ is at the head of white-clad 
regiments, and from his high throne in royal power 

103 



PRUDENTIUS 

et throno regnans ab alto damnat infames deos 
vosque, qui ridenda vobis monstra divos fingitis." 

haec loquentes obruuntur mille poenis martyres ; 
nexibus manus utrasque flexus involvit rigor, 71 

et chalybs adtrita colla gravibus ambit circulis. 

o vetustatis silentis obsoleta oblivio ! 
invidentur ista nobis fama et ipsa extinguitur. 
chartulas blasphemus olim nam satelles abstulit, 75 

ne tenacibus libellis erudita saecula 
ordinem, tempus modumque passionis proditum 
dulcibus linguis per aures posterorum spargerent. 

hoc tamen solum vetusta subtrahunt silentia, 
iugibus longum catenis an capillum paverint, 80 

quo viros dolore tortor quave pompa ornaverit. 

ilia laus occulta non est nee senescit tempore, 
missa quod sursum per auras evolarunt munera, 
quae viam patere caeli praemicando ostenderent. 

illius fidem figurans nube fertur anulus, 85 

hie sui dat pignus oris, ut ferunt, orarium, 
quae superno rapta flatu lucis intrant intimum. 

per poli liquentis axem fulgor auri absconditur 
ae diu visum sequacem textilis candor fugit ; 
subvehuntur usque in astra nee videntur amplius. 90 

vidit hoc conventus adstans, ipse vidit carnifex 

104 



I 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, I 



e condemns your ill-famed gods and you who 
fashion yourselves divine persons out of absurd 
monstrosities." 

At these words the martyrs are overwhelmed with 
a thousand tortures. Stiff fetters curve round their 
two hands and clasp them in their grip, and heavy 
rings of iron surround and chafe their necks. Alas 
for what is forgotten and lost to knowledge in the 
silence of the olden time ! We are denied the facts 
about these matters, the very tradition is destroyed, 
for long ago a reviling soldier of the guard took away 
the records, lest generations taught by documents 
that held the memory fast should make public the 
details, the time and manner of their martyrdom, and 
spread them abroad in sweet speech for posterity 
to hear. Yet all that the silence of the old days 
takes from us is the knowledge whether their hair 
grew long with constant imprisonment, and what 
pains the tormentor laid on the heroes, or rather with 
what triumph he furnished them. One honour at 
least is not hidden from us nor wanes through lapse of 
time, how the offerings they sent up flew off through 
the air to show, as they went shining on before, that 
the path to heaven was open. A ring, representing 
the faith of the one, was carried up in a cloud, while 
the other, as they tell, gave a handkerchief as the 
pledge of his lips, and they were caught up by the 
wind of heaven and passed into the depths of light. 
The glint of the gold was lost to sight in the vault of 
the clear sky, and the white fabric escaped from the 
eyes that sought long to follow it; both were 
carried up to the stars and seen no more. This sight 
the gathered bystanders saw, and the executioner 
himself, and he checked his hand and stood motion- 

105 



PRUDENTIUS 

et manum repressit haerens ac stupore obpalluit : 
sed tamen peregit ictum, ne periret gloria. 

iamne credis, bruta quondam Vasconum gentilitas, 
quam sacrum crudelis error immolarit sanguinem ? 
credis in Deum relatos hostiarum spiritus ? 96 

cerne quam palam feroces hie domantur daeraones, 
qui lupino capta ritu ^ devorant praecordia, 
strangulant mentes et ipsas seque miscent sensibus. 

tunc suo iam plenus hoste sistitur furens homo 100 
spumeas efflans salivas, cruda torquens lumina, 
expiandus quaestione non suorum criminum. 

audias, nee tortor adstat, eiulatus flebiles, 
scinditur per flagra corpus, nee flagellum cernitur, 
crescit et suspensus ipse vinculis latentibus. 105 

his modis spurcum latronem martyrum virtus 
quatit, 
haec coercet, torquet, urit, haec catenas incutit ; 
praedo vexatus relictis se medullis exuit. 

linquit inlaesam rapinam, faucibus siccis fugit, 
ungue ab imo usque ad capillum salva reddit omnia, 
confitens ardere sese; nam gehennae est incola. Ill 

quid loquar purgata longis alba morbis corpora, 
algidus cum decoloros horror artus concutit, 
hie tumor vultum relinquit, hie color verus redit ? 

hoc bonum Salvator ipse, quo fruamur, praestitit, 
martyrum cum membra nostro consecravit oppido, 
sospitant quae nunc colonos quos Hiberus alluit. 117 

1 Many of the later MS8. have rictu {" with wolfish jaws "), 
io6 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, I 

less, blanching in amazement ; but in spite of all he 
carried the stroke through, so that their glory should 
not be lost. 

Believe ye now, ye Vascones, once dull pagans, how 
holy was tihe blood which cruel superstition sacrificed ? 
Believe ye that the victims' spirits were taken back to 
God ? See how clearly here * wild devils are subdued, 
which like wolves capture and devour men's hearts, 
choking their very minds and mingling with their 
senses. For then the maniac possessed by his enemy 
is presented here foaming at the mouth and rolling 
his blood-shot eyes, to be cleansed by the trial of sins 
which are not his own. You may hear woeful cries of 
agony though no torturer is here ; his body is cut 
with lashes though you see no whip ; he is slung on 
the rack and his limbs are stretched ^ with cords 
invisible. In such wise does the virtue that is in the 
martyrs beat down the filthy devil, constrain, torture, 
burn, enchain him, till the plunderer is so harried 
that he slips out of his victim's marrows and departs. 
He leaves his prey unharmed, fleeing with bloodless 
jaws ; from the tip of his toe to the hair of his head 
he gives back all uninjured, while he confesses that 
he himself is burning, for he is a dweller in hell. I 
need not tell how bodies whitened by lasting diseases 
have been cleansed of them, cases in which a cold 
shivering shakes limbs that have lost their colour, 
how in one a swelling leaves the face, or in another 
the natural hue returns. This blessing the Saviour 
himself bestowed for our advantage when He con- 
secrated the martyrs' bodies in our town, where now 
they protect the folk who dwell by Ebro's waters. 

" At the tomb of the martyrs. 

> For this method of torture c/. v, 109-112, x, 108-110. 

107 



PRUDENTIUS 

state nunc, hymnite, matres, pro receptis parvulis, 
coniugum salute laeta vox maritarum strepat : 
sit dies haec festa nobis, sit sacratum gaudium ! 120 



II 

Hymnus in Honorem Passionis Laurentii 
Beatissimi Martyris. 

Antiqua fanorum parens, 
iam Roma Christo dedita, 
Laurentio victrix duce 
ritum triumphas barbarum. 

reges superbos viceras 5 

populosque frenis presseras, 
nunc monstruosis idolis 
inponis imperii iugum. 

haec sola derat gloria 
urbis togatae insignibus, 10 

feritate capta gentium 
domaret ut spurcum lovem, 

non turbulentis viribus 
Cossi, Camilli aut Caesaris, 

sed martyris Laurentii 15 

non incruento proelio. 

armata pugnavit fides, 
proprii cruoris prodiga ; 
nam morte mortem diruit, 
ac semet inpendit sibi. 20 

fore hoc sacerdos dixerat 
iam Xystus adfixus cruci, 

" Several Cossi figure in the history of the 5th and 4th 
centuries B.C. A. Cornelius Cossus, dictator in 385 B.C., 
crushed the Volscians (Livy, VI, U-13). 
Io8 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

Stand now, ye mothers, and sing hymns for little ones 
given back to you; let wives' voices sound loud in 
gladness for the recovery of their husbands ; let us 
hold festival this day and consecrate our joy. 

II 

A Hymn in Honour of the Passion of the 
Most Blessed Martyr Lawrence. 

Rome, thou ancient mother of temples, but now 
given up to Christ, Lawrence has led thee to victory 
and triumph over barbarous worship. Thou hadst 
already conquered haughty kings and held the 
nations in check ; now thou dost lay the yoke of thy 
power on unnatural idols. This was the one glory 
lacking to the honours of the city of the toga, that it 
should take savage paganism captive and subdue its 
unclean Jupiter, not with the tempestuous strength 
of Cossus" or Camillus ^ or Caesar, but by the battle in 
which the martyr Lawrence shed his blood. The faith 
fought in arms, not sparing her own blood, for by death 
she destroyed death and spent herself to save herself. 

Xystus « the priest had already foretold this when 

* See Contra Symm. II, 722. 

' Xystus (Sixtus II) was bishop of Rome when Valerian 
in 258 issued his second edict, by which the Christian clergy 
were condemned to death. Lawrence was his principal 
deacon (c/. 37 fiF. Augustine calls him archidiaconus). The 
term sacerdos is often appHed to bishops, especially when they 
are contrasted with deacons (e.g. VI, 10-15, 43). In spite of 
what Prudentius says here it is probable that Xystus was not 
crucified but beheaded (Allard, Les Dernieres Persecutions du 
I lime Siecle, 4th ed., Paris, 1924, App. C). Four of his deacons 
were executed at the same time ; Lawrence was spared for the 
moment, probably because the authorities wished to get 
possession of the treasure of which he was in charge. 

109 



PRUDENTIUS 

Laurentium flentem videns 

crucis sub ipso stipite : 

" desiste discessu meo 25 

fletum dolenter fundere ! 

praecedo, frater ; tu quoque 

post hoc sequeris triduum." 

extrema vox episcopi 
praenuntiatrix gloriae 30 

nihil fefelHt : nam dies 
praedicta palmam praetuUt.^ 

qua voce, quantis laudibus 
celebrabo mortis ordinem ? 

quo passionem carmine 35 

digne retexens concinam ? 

hie primus e septem viris 
qui stant ad aram proximi, 
Levita sublimis gradu 
et ceteris praestantior, 40 

claustris sacrorum praeerat, 
caelestis arcanum domus 
fidis gubernans clavibus 
votasque dispensans opes. 

versat famem pecuniae 45 

praefectus urbi ^ regiae, 
minister insani ducis, 
exactor auri et sanguinis, 

qua vi latentes eruat 
nummos, operta existimans 50 

talenta sub sacrariis 
cumulosque congestos tegi. 

Laurentium sisti iubet, 
exquirit arcam ditibus 

massis refertam et fulgidae 55 

montes monetae conditos. 



no 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

he was fastened to the cross and saw Lawrence 
weeping at the foot of its post. " Shed no more 
tears in sorrow at my departure," he said. " I 
go before you, my brother ; you too will follow me 
three days from now." The bishop's last words, 
predicting Lawrence's glory, came true, for the day 
he foretold set the palm before him. With what 
words, what great praises, shall I celebrate the events 
of his death in their order, in what verses worthily 
sing the story of his passion ? He, being the chief of 
the seven" who stand next the altar, the Levite* 
highest in rank and outstanding above the rest, 
was in charge of the safe-keeping of the holy things, 
with trusty keys managing the treasury of the 
heavenly house and paying out the money of the 
offerings. Now the prefect of the imperial city, the 
agent of a frantic ruler for enforcing payment of 
gold and blood, has a hunger for money busy in his 
heart, pondering how to unearth the hidden cash, for 
he thinks great riches piled in heaps lie concealed 
down in the treasury. He orders Lawrence to be 
brought before him and seeks for information of the 
chest packed with precious ingots, the mountains of 

» Cf. Acts vi, 1-6. » I.e. deacon. Gf. V, 30. 



^ So ACD. The rest of Bergman's MSS. have praestitit. 
* Most of the later MSS. have whia. 



PRUDENTIUS 

" soletis," inquit, " conquer! 
saevire nos iusto amplius, 
cum Christiana corpora 
plus quam cruente scindimus. 60 

abest atrocioribus 
censura fervens motibus ; 
blande et quiete efflagito 
quod sponte obire debeas. 

hunc esse vestris orgiis 65 

moremque et artem proditum est, 
hanc disciplinam foederis, 
libent ut auro antistites. 

argenteis scyphis ferunt 
fumare sacrum sanguinem, 70 

auroque nocturnis sacris 
adstare fixos cereos. 

tum summa cura est fratribus, 
ut sermo testatur loquax, 

offerre fundis venditis 75 

sestertiorum milia. 

addicta avorum praedia 
foedis sub auctionibus 
successor exheres gemit 
Sanctis egens parentibus. 80 

haec occuluntur abditis 
ecclesiarum in angulis, 
et summa pietas creditur 
nudare dulces liberos. 

deprome thesauros, malis 85 

suadendo quos praestrigiis 
exaggeratos obtines, 
nigrante quos claudis specu. 

hoc poscit usus publicus, 
hoc fiscus, hoc aerarium, 90 



112 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

shining coins in store. " It is your wont," he says, 
" to protest that our cruelty goes beyond all justice 
in cleaving Christian bodies with worse than blood- 
thirstiness. Here you have no judge whose mind is 
heated with passions too violent. Softly and calmly I 
make a request which you should be ready to meet. 
It has come out that the custom and style of your 
secret rites, the rule of your brotherhood, is that 
your priests make offering from vessels of gold. 
They say the holy blood smokes in silver cups, and 
that at your services by night the candles stand fixed 
in golden candlesticks. And then, as common talk 
keeps on declaring, it is the brethren's chief concern 
to sell their properties and offer sesterces " in 
thousands. The disinherited heir laments that his 
grandsires' estates have been knocked down in- 
famously under the hammer ; his holy parents have 
brought him to want. All this wealth is concealed in 
out-of-the-way corners of your churches, and it is 
believed to be the greatest piety to leave your dear 
children destitute. Fetch out your treasures, those 
piles you amass through your wicked tricks of per- 
suasion and shut up in some dark hole. Our country's 
need, the emperor's chest, the public treasury call 
for this step, that the money may be devoted to 

" The sestertius, though a coin of small value, became in the 
later times of the Republic the unit of account, and large 
sums were expressed in it. 

"3 



PRUDENTIUS 

ut dedita stipendiis 
ducem iuvet pecunia. 

sic dogma vestrum est, audio : 
suum quibusque reddito. 

en Caesar agnoscit suum 95 

nomisma nummis inditum. 

quod Caesaris scis, Caesari 
da, nempe iustum postulo. 
ni fallor, haud ullam tuus 
signat Deus pecuniam, 100 

nee, cum veniret, aureos 
secum Philippos detulit, 
praecepta sed verbis dedit, 
inanis a marsuppio. 

inplete dictorum fidem 105 

qua ^ vos per orbem venditis : 
nummos libenter reddite, 
estote verbis divites." 

nil asperum Laurentius 
refert ad ista aut turbidum, 110 

sed, ut paratus obsequi, 
obtemperanter adnuit. 

" est dives," inquit, " non nego, 
habetque nostra ecclesia 

opumque et auri plurimum, 115 

nee quisquam in orbe est ditior. 

is ipse tantum non habet 
argenteorum aenigmatum 
Augustus arcem possidens, 
cui nummus omnis scribitur. 120 

sed nee recuso prodere 
locupletis arcam numinis ; 
vulgabo cuncta et proferam 
pretiosa quae Christus tenet. 



114 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

soldiers' pay and assist our High Commander. 
Your teaching runs thus, I am told: " Render to 
each his own." Well then, Caesar recognises his 
own stamp on your coins. What you know for 
Caesar's, give to Caesar. It is surely a fair request 
I make. Your God, I think, stamps no money; 
nor when He came did He bring golden Philips « down 
with Him, but gave instructions in words, not being 
furnished with a purse. Make good, then, the credit 
of his sayings, on the strength of which you cry 
yourselves up throughout the world. Pay over the 
money cheerfully and be rich in words." 

No rough or quarrelsome answer does Lawrence 
make to this, but assents willingly, as ready to obey. 
" Our church is rich," he says, " I make no denial. 
It has very much wealth and gold, no man in the 
world is richer. The very Augustus who holds the 
seat of power and whose inscription is on every coin, 
has not so many images on silver. Yet I do not 
object to producing our wealthy God's treasure- 
chest ; I shall divulge and bring forth all the precious 
possessions of Christ. But one thing I beg and 

" Properly gold coins struck by Philip II, King of Macedon 
(d. 336 B.C.). They were current in Greece in Hellenistic 
times. 

^ Many of the later M8S. have either quam or quae. 

"5 



PRUDENTIUS 

unum sed orans flagito, 125 

indutiarum paululum, 
quo fungar efficacius 
promissionis munere, 

dum tota digestim mihi 
Christ! supellex scribitur ; 130 

nam calculanda primitus, 
turn subnotanda est summula." 

laetus tumescit gaudio 
praefectus ac spem ^ devorat, 
aurum velut iam conditum 135 

domi maneret gestiens. 

pepigere tempus tridui, 
laudatus inde absolvitur 
Laurentius, sponsor sui 
et sponsor ingentis lucri. 140 

tribus per urbem cursitat 
diebus infirma agmina 
omnesque qui poscunt stipem 
cogens in unum et congregans. 

illic utrisque obtutibus 145 

orbes cavatos praeferens 
baculo regebat praevio 
errore nutantem gradum, 

et claudus infracto genu, 
vel crure trunco semipes, 150 

breviorve planta ex altera 
gressum trahebat inparem. 

est ulcerosis artubus 
qui tabe corrupta fluat, 

est cuius arens dextera 155 

nervos in ulnam contrahat. 

tales plateis omnibus 
exquirit, adsuetos ali 



ii6 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

entreat, — a little time of grace, that I may discharge 
more effectually the task I promise, by making an 
ordered list of all Christ's belongings ; for we must 
first compute the total, and then note it at the foot." 
The delighted prefect, ready to burst with joy, 
greedily enjoys his hope, exulting as if he had the 
gold already laid in his possession. The bargain is 
struck for a space of three days, and then Lawrence 
is commended and dismissed, standing surety for 
himself and for the vast riches. 

For three days he runs about the city gathering 
into one flock the companies of the infirm and all the 
beggars for alms. There a man showing two eyeless 
sockets is directing his straying, faltering step with 
the guidance of a staff ; a cripple with a broken knee, 
a one-legged man with his other limb cut short, a 
man with one leg shorter than the other, are dragging 
unequal steps along. Here is one whose limbs are 
covered with sores and running with decayed matter, 
and one whose right hand is withered, the muscles 
contracted to the elbow. Such people he seeks out 
through all the public places, men who were wont to 
be fed from the store of their mother the Church, 

^ Many of the later M8S. have ape. 

117 



PRUDENTIUS 

ecclesiae matris penu, 

quos ipse promus noverat. 160 

recenset exim singulos 
scribens viritim nomina, 
longo et locates ordine 
adstare pro templo iubet. 

praescriptus et iam fluxerat 165 

dies : furebat fervidus 
iudex avaro spiritu, 
promissa solvi efflagitans. 

turn martyr: " adsistas velim 
coramque dispositas opes 170 

mirere, quas noster Deus 
praedives in Sanctis habet. 

videbis ingens atrium 
fulgere vasis aureis, 

et per patentes porticus 175 

structos talentis ordines." 

it ille nee pudet sequi. 
ventum ad sacratam ianuam, 
stabant catervae pauperum, 
inculta visu examina. 180 

fragor rogantum tollitur : 
praefectus horrescit stupens, 
conversus in Laurentium, 
oculisque turbatis minax. 

contra ille, " quid frendens," ait, 185 

"minitaris? aut quid displicet ? 
num sordida haec aut vilia, 
num despuenda existimas ? 

aurum, quod ardenter sitis, 
efFossa gignunt rudera 190 

et de metallis squalidis 
poenalis excudit labor. 



ii8 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

and whom as her steward he knew before. Then he 
reviews them one by one, writing down each man's 
name, and makes them stand posted in a long line in 
the forefront of the church. 

By this the prescribed time had passed, and the 
judge was beside himself with the vehemence of his 
covetous spirit as he called for payment of the 
promise. Then said the martyr : " Pray give us 
your presence, and marvel at the wealth set out 
before you, which our exceeding rich God has in his 
sanctuaries. You will see the great nave gleaming 
with vessels of gold, and along the open colonnades 
course on course of precious metal." So he went, 
not thinking it beneath him to follow. They reached 
the hallowed door, and there stood the companies of 
poor men in their swarms, a ragged sight. Up rises a 
din of beggars* appeals, and the prefect, startled and 
amazed, turns to Lawrence with menace in his angry- 
eyes. But Lawrence counters : " Why do you rage 
and threaten ? What displeases you ? Do you 
think all this mean or worthless, only to be scorned ? 
Gold, for which you thirst vehemently, is got from 
rubbish dug out of the earth ; penal labour * ex- 



" Penal servitude was introduced under the Empire. 
During the persecutions many Christians were condemned to 
labour in the mines, which belonged to the state. 



119 



PRUDENTIUS 

torrens vel amnis turbidis 
volvens harenis inplicat ; 

quod terrulentum ac sordidum 195 

flammis necesse est decoqui. 

pudor per aurum solvitur, 
violatur auro integritas, 
pax occidit, fides perit, 
leges et ipsae intercidunt. 200 

quid tu venenum gloriae 
extollis et magni putas ? 
si quaeris aurum verius, 
lux est et humanum genus. 

hi sunt alumni luminis, 205 

quos corpus artat debile, 
ne per salutem viscerum 
mens insolescat turgida. 

cum membra morbus dissieit, 
animus viget robustior, 210 

membris vicissim fortibus 
vis sauciatur sensuum. 

nam sanguis in culpam calens 
minus ministrat virium 

si fervor effetus malis 215 

elumbe virus contrahat. 

si forte detur optio, 
malim dolore asperrimo 
fragmenta membrorum pati 
et pulcher intus vivere. 220 

committe formas pestium 
et confer alternas lues : 
carnisne morbus foedior, 
an mentis et morum ulcera ? 

nostri per artus debiles 225 

intus decoris integri 



ISO 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

cavates it from dirty mines ; or a rushing river rolls 
it down enwrapped in its muddy sand; and being 
earthy and dirty it has to be refined with fire. By 
means of gold the bonds of modesty are unloosed and 
innocence is outraged, through it peace comes to an 
end, honour dies, the very law itself lapses away. 
Why do you exalt the poison of glory and hold it 
of great worth ? If you seek gold that is more real, 
it is the light and the race of men. These are foster- 
children of light, confined by a feeble body lest 
through the well-being of their flesh their spirit 
should swell with pride. When disease rives the body 
the spirit is stronger in activity, but again when the 
members are stout the force of the spirit is hurt. 
For the blood is hot for sin, but it furnishes less force 
if its heat is exhausted by bodily ills and it contracts 
a poison which enfeebles it. If haply I had to choose , 
I would rather bear with broken members under the 
cruellest pain and be handsome in my inner self. 
Match together the natures of the ills that plague us, 
compare our calamities of either kind : is disease of 
the flesh the more loathsome, or the sores on soul 
and character ? Our people are weakly in body, but 

121 



PRUDENTIUS 

sensum venusti innoxium 
laboris ^ expertes gerunt. 

vestros valentes corpora 
interna corrumpit lepra, 230 

errorque mancum claudicat 
et caeca fraus nihil videt. 

quemvis tuorum principum,^ 
qui veste et ore praenitent, 
magis probabo debilem 235 

quam quis meorum est pauperum. 

hunc, qui superbit serico, 
quem currus inflatum vehit, 
hydrops aquosus lucido 
tendit veneno intrinsecus. 240 

ast hie avarus contrahit 
manus recurvas et volam 
plicans aduncis unguibus 
laxare nervos non valet. 

istum libido foetida 245 

per scorta tractum publica 
luto et cloacis inquinat, 
dum spurca mendicat stupra. 

quid ? ille fervens ambitu 
sitimque honoris aestuans 250 

mersisne anhelat febribus 
atque igne venarum furit ? 

quisquis tacendi intemperans 
silenda prurit prodere, 

vexatur et scalpit iecur 256 

scabiemque cordis sustinet. 

quid invidorum pectorum 
strumas retexam turgidas ? 
quid purulenta et livida 
malignitatum vulnera ? 260 



122 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

within they have beauty unimpaired, they are comely 
and free from distress and bear a soul that has no 
hurt. But yours, while strong in body, are corrupted 
by an inner leprosy, their superstition halts like one 
that is maimed, their self-deception is blind and 
sightless. Any of your great men, who make 
a brave show in dress and features, I shall prove 
feebler than any of my poor men. Here is one who 
vaunts himself in his silk and is puffed up with pride 
as he rides in his chariot, but a watery dropsy of the 
soul within distends him with its transparent poison. 
And here is another who in his greed crooks his hands 
and draws them close, his palm doubled, his finger- 
nails like hooks, and cannot relax the tendons. This 
other is dragged by foul lust among public harlots and 
polluted with mire and filth as he goes a-begging 
after dirty whorings. And he there, who seeks 
hotly for advancement and burns with thirst for 
rank, is he not panting with fevers underneath and 
maddened by the fire in his veins ? Whoso wants the 
self-control to be silent and has a restless urge to 
betray secrets suffers tortures from the irritation of 
his passion and the constant itch in his heart. You 
do not need me to recount the scrofulous swellings in 
envious breasts, or the discoloured, festering sores of 



^ Many MSS. {including B) have languoris in line 228 and 
divitum, not principum, in 233. 

123 



PRUDENTIUS 

tute ipse, qui Romam regis, 
contemptor aeterni Dei, 
dum daemonum sordes colis, 
morbo laboras regio. 

hi, quos superbus despicis, 265 

quos execrandos iudicas, 
brevi ulcerosos exuent 
artus et incolumes erunt, 

cum carne corruptissima 
tandem soluti ac liberi 270 

pulcherrimo vitae statu 
in arce lucebunt Patris, 

non sordidati aut debiles, 
sicut videntur interim, 

sed purpurantibus stolis 275 

clari et coronis aureis. 

tunc, si facultas subpetat, 
coram tuis obtutibus 
istos potentes saeculi 
velim recensendos dari. 280 

pannis videres obsitos 
et mucculentis naribus, 
mentum salivis uvidum, 
lipposque palpebra putri. 

peccante nil est taetrius, 285 

nil tam leprosum aut putidum ; 
cruda est cicatrix criminum 
oletque ut antrum Tartari. 

animabus inversa vice 
corrupta forma infligitur, 290 

quas pulcher aspectus prius 
in corpore oblectaverat. 

en ergo nummos aureos, 
quos proxime spoponderam, 
124 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

malice. You yourself who rule over Rome, who 
despise the everlasting God, worshipping foul devils, 
are suffering from the ruler's sickness.** These men, 
whom in your pride you scorn and count detestable, 
will soon put off their sore-ridden bodies and be in 
sound health, when they shall be loosed and free at 
last from the most corrupt flesh and in the most 
beauteous condition of life shine in their Father's 
house on high, no longer dirty or feeble as for the 
present they appear, but bright with gleaming robes 
and golden crowns. Then, if it were possible, I 
would have these great men of the world put for 
review before your eyes. You would see them 
covered with rags, snivelling at the nose, their chins 
wet with their slaver, their eyes purblind and matter- 
ing on the lids. There is nothing fouler than a 
sinner, nothing so leprous or rotten ; the wound 
of his sins keeps bleeding and stinks like the pit of 
hell. The tables are turned and a corrupted figure 
is imposed on souls which formerly had delight in a 
comely presence in the body. Here then are the 
golden coins which a short while ago I promised, 

" Jaundice. C/. Celsus, De Medicina, III, 24. 

125 



PRUDENTIUS 

quos nee favillis obruat 295 

ruina nee fur subtrahat. 

nune addo gemmas nobiles, 
ne pauper em Christum putes, 
gemmas corusci luminis, 
ornatur hoc templum quibus. 300 

cernis sacratas virgines, 
miraris intactas anus 
primique post damnum tori 
ignis secundi nescias. 

hoc est monile ecclesiae, 305 

his ilia gemmis comitur ; 
dotata sic Christo placet, 
sic ornat altum verticem. 

eccum talenta, suscipe. 
ornabis urbem Romulam, 310 

ditabis et rem principis, 
fies et ipse ditior." 
" ridemur," exclamat furens ^ 
praefectus, " et miris modis 
per tot figuras ludimur : 315 

et vivit insanum caput ! 

inpune tantas, furcifer, 
strophas cavillo mimico 
te nexuisse existimas, 
dum scurra saltas fabulam ? 320 

concinna visa urbanitas 
tractare nosmet ludicris ? 
egon 2 cachinnis venditus 
acroma festivum fui ? 

adeone nulla austeritas, 325 

censura nulla est fascibus ? 
adeon securem publicam 
mollis retudit lenitas ? 



126 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

coins which tumbling walls cannot bury under burn- 
ing ashes, nor thief carry away by stealth. And now 
I give you noble jewels also, so that you need not 
think Christ is poor, jewels of flashing light with 
which this temple is adorned. You see the con- 
secrated virgins, and marvel at the pure old women 
who after the loss of their first husbands have known 
no second love. These are the Church's necklace, 
the jewels with which she decks herself; thus dowered 
she is pleasing to Christ, and thus she adorns her 
high head. There are her riches, take them up; 
with them you will adorn the city of Romulus and 
enrich the emperor's estate, and yourself be made 
richer too." 

" He is mocking us," cries the prefect, mad with 
rage, " making wonderful sport of us with all this 
allegory. And yet the madman lives ! Think you, 
rascal, to get off with contriving such trickeries with 
your comedian's quibbling and theatrical buffoonery ? " 
Did you think it neat pleasantry to make a butt of 
me? Have you made your guffaws out of me and 
turned me into a merry piece of entertainment ? 
Have the magisterial rods so wholly lost their stern 
control? Has gentle lenity so blunted the axe of 

" The phrase saltare fabulam properly applies to the panto- 
mimus, who acted in dumb show ; but the low-comedy mimus 
dealt much in gesticulation. 



Some MS8. {inclvding B) have fremens. 
ergon B. 



127 



PRUDENTIUS 

dicis, ' libenter oppetam, 
votiva mors est martyri.' 330 

est ista vobis, novimus, 
persuasionis vanitas. 

sed non volenti inpertiam 
praestetur ut mortis citae 

conpendiosus exitus, 335 

perire raptim non dabo. 

vitam tenebo et differam 
poenis morarum iugibus, 
et mors inextricabilis 
longos dolores protrahet. 340 

prunas tepentes sternite, 
ne fervor ignitus nimis 
OS contumacis occupet 
et cordis intret abdita. 

vapor senescens langueat, 345 

qui fusus adflatu levi 
tormenta sensim temperet 
semustulati corporis. 

bene est quod ipse ex omnibus 
mysteriarches incidit ; 350 

hie solus exemplum dabit 
quid mox timere debeant. 

conscende constratum rogum, 
decumbe digno lectulo ; 

tunc, si libebit, disputa 355 

nil esse Vulcanum meum." 

haec fante praefecto truces 
hinc inde tortores parant 
nudare amictu martyrem, 
vincire membra et tendere. 360 

illi OS decore splenduit 
fulgorque circumfusus est. 



128 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

authority ? You say ' I am ready to die ; to the 
martyr death is an object of desire.' You Christians 
have, we know, this vain persuasion. But I shall not 
grant your wish to be presented with a short way 
to your end in a quick death. I shall not let you die 
in a hurry. I shall hold on to your life and prolong it 
through slow, unceasing punishments ; a death which 
keeps you fast in its toils will drag out long-lasting 
pains. Lay the coals not too hot, so that the heat 
shall not be too fiery and seize on the stiff-necked 
fellow's face and get into the depths of his breast. 
Let its hot breath die down and languish so as to 
pour out with no strong gust but by degrees temper 
the torments and only scorch his body.<* It is well 
that of them all the head of their secret rites has 
fallen into our hands, for he by himself will furnish 
an example of what they next must fear. Get up on 
to the pyre they have laid for you, lie down on the 
bed you deserve ; and then, if you like, argue that 
my god of fire is nothing." 

While the prefect was thus speaking, the cruel 
tormentors all around were making ready to strip 
the martyr of his robe and bind his limbs and stretch 
them out. His face shone with beauty and a glory 
was shed around him. Such was the countenance 

" He was laid on the gridiron, cf, line 398; (" craticulae 
impositus," Augustine, Sermon 302). 

129 
VOL. II. F 



PRUDENTIUS 

talem revertens legifer 
de monte vultum detulit, 

ludaea quem plebs aureo 365 

bove inquinata et decolor 
expavit et faciem retro 
detorsit inpatiens Dei. 

talemque et ille praetulit 
oris corusci gloriam 370 

Stephanus per imbrem saxeum 
caelos apertos intuens. 

inluminatum hoc eminus 
recens piatis fratribus, 

baptisma quos nuper datum 375 

Christi capaces fecerat ; 

ast inpiorum caecitas, 
OS oblitum noctis situ 
nigrante sub velamine 
obducta, clarum non videt, 380 

Aegyptiae plagae in modum, 
quae, cum tenebris barbaros 
damnaret, Hebraeis diem 
sudo exhibebat lumine. 

quin ipsa odoris qualitas 385 

adusta quam reddit cutis 
diversa utrosque permovet : 
his nidor, illis nectar est, 

idemque sensus dispari 
variatus aura aut adficit 390 

horrore nares vindice 
aut mulcet oblectamine. 

sic ignis aeternus Deus, 
nam Christus ignis verus est ; 
is ipse conplet lumine 395 

iustos et urit noxios. 



130 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

that the bearer of the law brought down from the 
mountain on his return, and the Jewish people, having 
stained and tarnished itself with the golden ox, was 
greatly afraid of him and turned its face away because 
it could not bear the presence of God.« Such again 
was the glory which Stephen presented shining on 
his face as amid the rain of stones he gazed at the 
open heavens.* This was made visible farther off 
to the brethren lately cleansed from sin, whom 
baptism given not long before had made fit to 
receive Christ ; but the blind eyes of the ungodly, 
their face being covered over with the blackness of 
night and enveloped under a veil of darkness, saw 
not the brilUance. It was like the Egyptian plague 
which, while it condemned the barbarians to dark- 
ness, gave to the Hebrews the clear light of day." 
Even the very nature of the smell arising from the 
scorched skin gave the two parties contrary sensa- 
tions : to the one it was the smell of roasting, to the 
other the scent of nectar ; the same sense, varied 
by a different aura, in the one case brought on the 
nostrils an avenging horror, in the other charmed 
them with delight. So is God an everlasting fire; 
for Christ is the true fire, it is He who fills the 
righteous with light and burns the guilty. 

" Exodus xxxii, xxxiv, 29-30. 
» Acts vii, 65 S. 
' Exodus X, 22-23. 



PRUDENTIUS 

postquam vapor diutinus 
decoxit exustum latus, 
ultro e catasta iudicem 
conpellat adfatu brevi : 400 

" converte partem corporis 
satis crematam iugiter, 
et fac periclum, quid tuus 
Vulcanus ardens egerit." 

praefectus inverti iubet. 405 

tunc ille : " coctum est, devora, 
et experimentum cape 
sit crudum an assum suavius." 

haec ludibundus dixerat, 
caelum deinde suspicit, 410 

et congemescens obsecrat 
miseratus urbem Romulam : 

" o Christe, nomen ^ unicum, 
o splendor, o virtus Patris, 

o factor orbis et poli, 415 

atque auctor horum moenium, 

qui sceptra Romae in vertice 
rerum locasti, sanciens 
mundum Quirinali togae 
servire et armis cedere, 420 

ut discrepantum gentium 
mores et observantiam 
linguasque et ingenia et sacra 
unis domares legibus, 

en omne sub regnum Remi 425 

mortale concessit genus, 
idem loquuntur dissoni 
ritus, id ipsum sentiunt. 

hoc destinatum quo magis 
ius Christiani nominis, 430 



132 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

After the long-continued heat has burned his side 
away, Lawrence on his own part hails the judge 
and addresses him briefly from the gridiron: "This 
part of my body has been burned long enough ; turn 
it round and try what your hot god of fire has done." 
So the prefect orders him to be turned about, and 
then " It is done," says Lawrence; " eat it up, try 
whether it is nicer raw or roasted." These words 
spoken in jest, he then looks up to heaven, and sigh- 
ing deeply prays in pity for the city of Romulus : 
" O Christ, the one name, the glory and strength of 
the Father, creator of earth and sky and founder of 
this city, who hast set the sceptre of the world on 
Rome's high citadel, ordaining that the world obey 
the toga of Quirinus "■ and yield to his arms, that 
thou might 'st bring under one system of laws the 
customs and observance, the speech and character 
and worship of nations which differed among them- 
selves ; lo, the whole race of men has passed under 
the sovereignty of Remus, and usages formerly dis- 
cordant are now alike in speech and thought. This 
was appointed that the authority of the Christian 

" Contra Symm. II, 305. 
^ Most of the later MSS. have numen. 



PRUDENTIUS 

quodcumque terrarum iacet, 
uno inligaret vinculo. 

da, Christe, Romanis tuis 
sit Christiana ut civitas, 

per quam dedisti ut ceteris 435 

mens una sacrorum foret. 

confoederantur omnia 
hinc inde membra in symbolum. 
mansuescit orbis subditus, 
mansuescat et summum caput. 440 

advertat abiunctas plagas 
coire in unam gratiam ; 
fiat fidelis Romulus, 
et ipse iam credat Numa. 

confundit error Troicus 445 

adhuc Catonum curiam, 
veneratus occultis focis 
Phrygum penates exules. 

lanum bifrontem et Sterculum 
colit senatus (horreo 450 

tot monstra patrum dicere) 
et festa Saturni senis. 

absterge, Christe, hoc dedecus, 
emitte Gabriel tuum, 

agnoscat ut verum Deum 455 

errans luli caecitas. 

et iam tenemus obsides 
fidissimos huius spei, 
hie nempe iam regnant duo 
apostolorum principes, 460 

alter vocator gentium, 
alter cathedram possidens 



" Cf. Contra Symm. I, 545. 



134 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

name might bind with one tie all lands everywhere. 
Grant, O Christ, to thy Romans that the city by 
which Thou hast granted to all others to be of one 
mind in worship, may itself be Christian. All its 
members everywhere are now allied in one con- 
fession of faith. The world it has subdued grows 
peaceable ; may the supreme head too grow peace- 
able. May she see that countries far apart are 
uniting in one state of grace, and may Romulus 
become one of the faithful, and Numa himself be now 
a believer. The superstition which came from Troy 
still confounds a senate of Catos," doing homage at 
secret altars to the Phrygians' exiled Penates.* 
The senate worships Janus of the two faces and 
Sterculus " (I shudder to name all these monstrosities 
our Fathers own) and keeps the festival of old 
Saturn.'* Wipe away this shame, O Christ; send 
forth thy servant Gabriel that the straying blindness 
of Julus * may recognise the true God. Already we 
hold most trusty sureties for this hope, for already 
there reign here the two chiefs of the apostles,/ the 
one he who called the Gentiles, while the other 

* Cf. Contra Symm. II, 970-2, Aeneid III, 148-150. The 
Penates of the city of Rome (as distinct from the Penates of 
a private house) had their seat in the temple of Vesta (cf. 
e.g. Tacitus, Annals XV, 41), which none but the Vestals 
and the pontifex maximus might enter. There was however 
a public aedes deum penatium in the Velian district of 
Rome. 

" Janus as guardian spirit of entrances is represented by a 
head with faces looking outwards and inwards. Sterculus 
was credited with introducing the practice of manuring the 
land. 

<* Cf. Contra Symm. II, 859. 

* The son of Aeneas. The Julii claimed descent from him. 
f St. Peter and St. Paul. See XII. 



PRUDENTIUS 

primam recludit creditas 
aetemitatis ianuas. 

discede, adulter luppiter, 465 

stupro sororis oblite, 
relinque Romam liberam, 
plebemque iam Christi fuge. 

te Paulus hinc exterminat, 
te sanguis exturbat Petri, 470 

tibi id, quod ipse armaveras, 
factum Neronis officit. 

video futurum principem 
quandoque, qui servus Dei 

taetris sacrorum sordibus 475 

servire Romam non sinat, 

qui templa claudat vectibus, 
valvas eburnas obstruat, 
nefasta damnet limina, 
obdens aenos pessulos. 480 

tunc pura ab omni sanguine 
tandem nitebunt marmora, 
stabunt et aera innoxia, 
quae nunc habentur idola." 

hie finis orandi fuit 485 

et finis idem vinculi 
camalis : erupit volens 
vocem secutus spiritus. 

vexere corpus subditis 
cervicibus quidam patres, 490 

quos mira libertas viri 
ambire Christum suaserat. 

repens medullas indoles 
adflarat et coegerat 

amore sublimis Dei 495 

odisse nugas pristinas. 



136 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

occupies the foremost chair and opens the gates of 
eternity which were committed to his keeping. 
Away, thou lecherous Jupiter, defiled with the 
violation of thy sister! Leave Rome at liberty, 
flee from her people, who now are Christ's. Paul 
banishes thee hence, the blood of Peter drives thee 
out. That deed of Nero's <* for which thou didst 
put the sword in his hand hurts thee. I foresee that 
one day there will be an emperor who will be the 
servant of God and will not suffer Rome to be in the 
service of vile, abominable rites, but will shut and bar 
her temples, block up their ivory doors, close their 
unholy entrances and make them fast with bolts of 
brass. Then at last will her marbles shine bright 
because they will be cleansed from all blood, and 
the statues that stand in bronze, which now she 
thinks of as idols, will be guiltless." ^ 

So ended his prayer, and with it ended his im- 
prisonment in the flesh ; the spirit broke forth eagerly 
after his words. Certain senators carried the body 
on their shoulders, whom the hero's marvellous inde- 
pendence had persuaded to seek the favour of Christ. 
A new disposition had suddenly inspired their inmost 
hearts and from love of the most high God constrained 
them to hate their old-time follies. From that day 

" The execution of the two apostles. 

* It is noteworthy that Prudentius (in spite of Contra 
Symm. II, 64) is not an iconoclast ; he approves of the pre- 
servation of these statues as works of art. Cf. Contra Symm. I, 
501-5 and Introduction, vol. I, p. viii. 

137 



PRUDENTIUS 

refrixit ex illo die 
cultus deorum turpium : 
plebs in sacellis rarior, 
Christi ad tribunal curritur. 500 

sic dimicans Laurentius 
non ense praecinxit latus, 
hostile sed ferrum retro 
torquens in auctorem tulit. 

dum daemon invictum Dei 505 

testem lacessit proelio, 
perfossus ipse concidit 
et stratus aeternum iacet. 

mors ilia sancti martyris 
mors vera templorum fuit ; 510 

tunc Vesta Palladios Lares 
inpune sensit deseri. 

quidquid Quiritum sueverat 
orare simpuvium Numae, 

Christi frequentans atria 515 

hymnis resultat martyrem. 

ipsa et senatus lumina, 
quondam luperci aut flamines, 
apostolorum et martyrum 
exosculantur limina. 520 

videmus inlustres domos, 
sexu ex utroque nobiles, 
ofFerre votis pignera 
clarissimorum liberum. 

vittatus olim pontifex 525 

adscitur in signum crucis, 
aedemque, Laurenti, tuam 
Vestalis intrat Claudia. 

O ter quaterque et septies 
beatus urbis incola, 530 



138 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

the worship of those base gods flagged, the people 
were seen in smaller numbers at their shrines, and 
there was a rush to the sanctuary of Christ. In this 
warfare Lawrence did not gird a sword on his side, 
but turned back the foe's steel against its wi elder. 
In making war on God's indomitable witness, the 
devil was stabbed himself and fell, and now lies 
prostrate for ever. The death the holy martyr died 
was in truth the death of the temples. That day 
Vesta saw her Palladian house-spirits " deserted and 
no vengeance follow. All the Romans who used 
to reverence Numa's libation-cup * now crowd the 
churches of Christ and sound the martyr's name in 
hymns. The very ornaments of the senate, men who 
once served as Luperci " or flamens, now eagerly kiss 
the thresholds of apostles and martyrs. We see 
distinguished families, where both sides are high- 
born, dedicate their dear ones, their noble children. 
The priest who once wore the head-bands is admitted 
to receive the sign of the cross and, Lawrence, a 
Vestal Claudia "^ enters thy church. 

O thrice and four times, yea seven times blessed 

" On the Lares see Bailey, Phases in the Religion of Ancient 
Rome, pp. 102-105. The epithet " Palladian " is suggested 
by the existence of the palladium in the temple of Vesta, 
to which it was said to have been brought from Troy (cf. 
Contra 8ym,m,. 1, 195), and so implies the most ancient sanctity. 

" I.e. rites which go back to the founder of Roman religious 
institutions. Cf. Juvenal, Sat. 6, 342-5. 

" See Contra Symm. II, 862. A flamen was a priest assigned 
to the service of a particular deity. 

^ The name is perhaps chosen as representative of ancient 
nobility, perhaps also with reference to the famous Claudia 
Quinta, who proved her chastity when the Magna Mater was 
being landed at Ostia {Contra Symm. I, 187, Ovid, Fasti, IV, 
291 ff.). 



PRUDENTIUS 

qui te ac tuorum comminus 
sedem celebrat ossuum, 

cui propter advolvi licet, 
qui fletibus spargit locum, 

qui pectus in terram premit, 535 

qui- vota fundit murmure. 

nos Vasco Hiberus dividit 
binis remotos Alpibus, 
trans Cottianorum iuga, 
trans et Pyrenas ninguidos. 540 

vix fama nota est, abditis 
quam plena Sanctis Roma sit, 
quam dives urbanum solum 
sacris sepulcris floreat. 

sed qui caremus his bonis 545 

nee sanguinis vestigia 
videre coram possumus, 
caelum intuemur eminus. 

sic, sancte Laurenti, tuam 
nos passionem quaerimus : 550 

est aula nam duplex tibi, 
hie corporis, mentis polo. 

illic inenarrabili 
allectus urbi municeps 

aeternae in arce curiae 555 

gestas coronam civicam. 

videor videre inlustribus 
gemmis coruscantem virum, 
quem Roma caelestis sibi 
legit perennem consulem. 560 

quae sit potestas credita 
et muneris quantum datum, 
probant Quiritum gaudia, 
quibus rogatus adnuis. 



140 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, II 

the dweller in Rome, who pays honour to thee and 
the abode of thy bones in presence, who can kneel 
by them, who sprinkles the spot with his tears, 
bowing his breast to the ground and in a low voice 
pouring out his prayers! Us the Vascon Ebro 
separates from thee, we are far removed beyond 
two mountain-ranges, across the Cottian heights '^ 
and the snowy Pyrenees. Scarcely even have we 
heard report how full Rome is of buried saints, 
how richly her city's soil blossoms with holy tombs. 
Still though we lack these blessings and cannot see 
the traces of blood with our own eyes, we look up to 
heaven on high. It is thus, holy Lawrence, that we 
seek thy passion; for thou hast two seats, that of 
thy body here on earth, that of thy soul in heaven. 
Admitted there as a freeman of the ineffable city, 
thou wearest the civic crown * in that Capitol where 
sits the everlasting senate. I think I see the hero 
flashing with brilliant jewels, whom the heavenly 
Rome has chosen to be her perpetual consul. The 
power entrusted to thee, the greatness of the 
function assigned to thee, is proved by the rejoicings 
of Rome's citizens, to whose requests thou givest 
assent. What each one asks in prayer, he has 



" The Cottian Alps, between Italy and southern Gaul. 

* This was a wreath of oak-leaves awarded to a soldier in 
the Roman army for saving the hfe of a fellow-soldier in the 
field. 

141 



PRUDENTIUS 

quod quisque supplex postulat, 565 

fert inpetratum prospere ; 
poscunt, iocantur,^ indicant, 
et tristis haud uUus redit, 

ceu praesto semper adsies 
tuosque alumnos urbicos 570 

lactante conplexus sinu 
paterno amore nutrias. 

hos inter, o Christi deeus, 
audi poetam rusticum 

cordis fatentem crimina 575 

et facta prodentem sua. 

indignus, agnosco et scio, 
quern Christus ipse exaudiat, 
sed per patronos martyras 
potest medellam consequi. 580 

audi benignus supplicem 
Christi reum Prudentium, 
et servientem corpori 
absolve vinclis saeculi. 



Ill 

Hymnus in Honorem Passionis Eulaliae 
Beatissimae Martyris. 

Germine nobilis Eulalia 

mortis et indole nobilior 

Emeritam sacra virgo suam, 

cuius ab ubere progenita est, 

ossibus ornat, amore colit. 5 

1 Three of Bergman's later M8S. have laetantur, which 
is unmetrical. Editors before Bergman commonly print 
litantur, which would be a unique instance of the deponent, or 

142 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

happily granted him. They ask, and are gay, and 
tell, and none returns home sorrowful ; it is as if thou 
wert ever by their side to help, taking thy foster- 
children of the city to the richness of thy breast and 
feeding them with a father's love. Among them, 
thou glory of Christ, listen to a country poet as he 
acknowledges the sins of his heart and confesses his 
deeds. He is unworthy, I know and own, that 
Christ himself should hearken to him ; but through 
the advocacy of the martyrs he may attain to healing. 
Be thou gracious and hear the prayer of Prudentius 
who stands arraigned by Christ, and set him free 
from the fetters of the world where he is in bondage 
to the body. 



Ill 

A Hymn in Honour of the Passion of the 
Most Blessed Martyr Eulalia. 

Noble of stock, and nobler still in the quality of her 

death, the holy maid Eulalia honours with her 

bones and tends with her love her own Emerita,* 

the town that gave her birth. Far in the west lies 

" Augusta Emerita in Lusitania, now Merida. 

licenter. Modem conjectures are precantur (Alfonsi), rogant 
et vindicant (Lavarenne). 

143 



PRUDENTIUS 

proximus occiduo locus est 
qui tulit hoc decus egregium, 
urbe potens, populis locuples, 
sed mage sanguine martyrii 
virgineoque potens titulo. 10 

curriculis tribus atque novem 
tres hiemes quater adtigerat, 
cum crepitante pyra trepidos 
terruit aspera carnifices, 
supplicium sibi dulce rata. 15 

iam dedei*at prius indicium 
tendere se Patris ad solium 
nee sua membra dicata tore : 
ipsa crepundia reppulerat, 
ludere nescia pusiola ; 20 

spernere sucina, flare ^ rosas, 
fulva monilia respuere, 
ore severa, modesta gradu, 
moribus et nimium teneris 
canitiem meditata senum. 25 

ast ubi se furiata luis 
excitat in famulos Domini 
Christicolasque cruenta iubet 
tura cremare, iecur pecudis 
mortiferis adolere deis, 30 

infremuit sacer Eulaliae 
spiritus, ingeniique ferox 
turbida frangere bella parat, 
et rude pectus anhela Deo 
femina provocat arma virum. 35 

sed pia cura parentis agit 
virgo animosa domi ut lateat 
abdita rure et ab urbe procul, 
ne fera sanguinis in pretium 



144 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

the place that has won this signal honour ; as a city, 
great and populous, but greater through the blood of 
martyrdom and a maiden's tombstone. In twelve 
courses of the sun twelve winters had she seen, when 
on the crackling pyre her hardihood struck terror into 
her trembling executioners, for she counted her 
sufFei-ing a pleasure to herself. Already she had 
given a sign that her face was set towards the Father's 
throne and her body not destined for marriage ; 
for even as a little girl she had put toys from her 
and was a stranger to fun ; she would scorn amber 
beads, scout roses, spurn golden necklaces ; she was 
grave of face, sober in her gait, and in the ways of 
her tenderest years practised the manner of hoary 
age. 

Now when the raging scourge was working himself 
up against the servants of the Lord and with bloody 
mind commanding that the followers of Christ should 
bum incense and offer burnt sacrifice of the livers of 
cattle to gods who brought death, Eulalia's holy 
courage made loud protest. With her bold spirit she 
made ready to shatter the violent onslaught, and 
with the heart in her young breast panting for God, 
female as she was she challenged the weapons of 
men. But her mother's loving care sought to keep 
the high-spirited damsel at home out of notice, 
buried in the country at a distance from the town, 
lest the self-willed girl rush to expend her blood from 

^ Bergman reads flere with A and most of his MS8. B has 
flore. flare comes from one MS. only (U). See Meyer, 
Philologus, xciii, 311 ff. Cf. X 920 (insufflat). 



PRUDENTIUS 

mortis amore puella ruat. 40 

ilia perosa quietis opem 
degeneri tolerare mora 
nocte fores sine teste movet 
saeptaque claustra fugax aperit, 
inde per invia carpit iter. 45 

ingreditur pedibus laceris 
per loca senta situ et vepribus 
angelico comitata choro, 
et licet horrida nox sileat, 
lucis habet tamen ilia ducem. 50 

sic habuit generosa patrum 
turba columniferum radium, 
scindere qui tenebrosa potens 
nocte viam face perspicua 
praestitit intereunte chao. 55 

non aliter pia virgo viam 
nocte secuta diem meruit 
nee tenebris adoperta fuit, 
regna Canopica cum fugeret 
et super astra pararet iter. 60 

ilia gradu cita pervigili 
milia multa prius peragit 
quam plaga pandat Eoa polum ; 
mane superba tribunal adit 
fascibus adstat et in mediis 65 

vociferans : " rogo, quis furor est 
perdere praecipites animas 
et male prodiga corda sui 
sternere rasilibus scopulis, 
omnipatremque negare Deum ? 70 

quaeritis, o miseranda manus, 
Christicolum genus ? en ego sum 
daemonicis inimica sacris, 



146 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

the love of death. She, hating to let herself be 
saved by keeping quiet and hanging back like a 
coward, opens the door by night with none to see, 
makes her escape through the enclosing fence, and 
then pursues her way across the wilds. With torn 
feet she passes over a rough waste overgrown with 
briers, but she is accompanied by a troop of angels, 
and for all the gruesome silence of the night she still 
has light to guide her. So it was that the noble 
company of the patriarchs had a beam in the shape 
of a pillar which, being able to pierce the gloom, 
showed them the way by night with its bright flame 
and the darkness was done away.<* Like them, the 
devoted girl was deemed worthy to have the light of 
day as she followed her course in the night, and was 
not covered with darkness as she fled from the realm 
of Egypt, winning a way beyond the stars. Stepping 
quickly all through the night she covers many a mile 
ere the eastern quarter opens up the sky ; and in the 
morning presents herself haughtily at the seat of 
authority, standing there amid the symbols of power 
and calling out: " What madness is this, I ask, that 
makes you send your souls headlong to destruction 
and bow down before smoothed stones hearts all 
too ready to throw themselves away, denying God 
who is the Father of all? Seek ye, O pitiable 
company, the people who worship Christ ? Here am 
I, a foe to the worship of evil spirits ; I trample idols 

" Exodus xiii, 21. 

147 



PRUDENTIUS 

idola protero sub pedibus, 

pectore et ore Deum fateor. 75 

Isis, Apollo, Venus nihil est, 
Maximianus et ipse nihil : 
ilia nihil, quia facta manu, 
hie manuum quia facta colit, 
frivola utraque et utraque nihil. 80 

Maximianus, opum dominus 
et tarn en ipse cliens lapidum, 
prostituat voveatque suis 
numinibus caput ipse suum : 
pectora cur generosa quatit ? 85 

dux bonus, arbiter egregius, 
sanguine pascitur innocuo, 
corporibusque piis inhians 
viscera sobria dilacerat, 
gaudet et excruciare fidem. 90 

ergo age, tortor, adure, seca, 
divide membra coacta luto. 
solvere rem fragilem facile est : 
non penetrabitur interior 
exagitante dolore animus," 95 

talibus excitus in furias 
praetor ait: " rape praecipitem, 
lictor, et obrue suppliciis. 
sentiat esse deos patrios 
nee leve principis imperium. 100 

quam cuperem tamen ante necem, 
si potis est, revocare tuam, 
torva puellula, nequitiam. 
respice gaudia quanta metas, 
quae tibi fert genialis honor. 105 

te lacrimis labefacta domus 
prosequitur generisque tui 



148 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

under foot, and with heart and lips I confess God. 
Isis, Apollo, Venus — they are naught ; Maximian <* 
himself too is naught ; they because they are works 
of men's hands, he because he worships the works of 
men's hands, both worthless, both naught. Though 
Maximian, lord of power and yet himself in vassalage 
to figures of stone, prostitute himself to his gods and 
make himself over to them, why does he persecute 
noble hearts? Your good captain, your excellent 
ruler, feeds on innocent blood; hungering for the 
bodies of the godly, he tears their continent flesh and 
delights in torturing the faithful. Come then, 
tormentor, burn, slash, cut up my body. It was put 
together of clay; it is easy to destroy so frail a 
thing. But the racking pain will not reach the spirit 
within." 

Roused to fury by such words the governor cries : 
" Away with her, lictor ! Heap tortures on her. 
Let her see that the gods of our fathers exist and the 
emperor's command is no light thing. And yet how 
much I would desire before you die, if it may be, fierce 
young girl, to turn back your wickedness ! Think of 
the great joys you are cutting off, which the honour- 
able state of marriage offers you. The family you 

» Colleague of Diocletian as emperor from 286 to 305. 
Spain was under his charge. 

149 



PRUDENTIUS 

ingemit anxia nobilitas, 

flore ^ quod occidis in tenero, 

proxima dotibus et thalamis. 110 

non movet aurea pompa tori, 
non pietas veneranda senum, 
quos temeraria debilitas ? 
ecce parata ministeria 
excruciabilis exitii : 115 

aut gladio feriere caput, 
aut laniabere membra feris, 
aut facibus data fumificis 
flebiliterque ululanda tuis 
in cineres resoluta flues. 120 

haec, rogo, quis labor est fugere ? 
si modicum salis eminulis 
turis et exiguum digitis 
tangere, virgo, benigna velis, 
poena gravis procul afuerit." 125 

martyr ad ista nihil ; sed enim 
infremit inque tyranni oculos 
sputa iacit, simulacra dehinc 
dissipat inpositamque molam 
turibulis pede prosubigit. 130 

nee mora, carnifices gemini 
iuncea pectora dilacerant 
et latus ungula virgineum 
pulsat utrimque et ad ossa secat 
Eulalia numerante notas. 135 

" scriberis ecce mihi, Domine. 
quam iuvat hos apices legere 
qui tua, Christe, tropaea notant ! 
nomen et ipsa sacrum loquitur 
purpura sanguinis eliciti." 140 

haec sine fletibus et gemitu 



150 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

are bereaving follows you with tears, your noble stock 
mourns over you in distress, because you are dying in 
the bloom of youth when you are just reaching the 
age of dowry and wedlock.» Does not a rich and 
splendid marriage appeal to you, nor the love of your 
elders, which you ought to respect, whereas your rash 
conduct is breaking their hearts ? You see here in 
readiness the agents of a death of torture. You will 
be beheaded with the sword, or your limbs will be 
torn by wild beasts, or you will be delivered to the 
smoking brands to be destroyed and reduced to 
ashes, for your friends to mourn you with weeping 
and cries of woe. I put it to you, what effort would 
it cost to avoid all this ? If, damsel, you would be 
so obliging as just to put out your fingers and touch a 
little of the salt and a tiny grain of the incense, you 
would escape the cruel suffering." 

The martyr answers never a word ; howbeit with a 
loud cry she spits into the tyrant's eyes and then 
scatters the images and with her foot kicks over the 
meal laid on the censers. In a moment two execu- 
tioners are tearing her slim breast, the claw striking 
her two girlish sides and cutting to the bone, while 
Eulalia counts the marks. " See, Lord," she says, 
" thy name is being written on me. How I love to 
read these letters, for they record thy victories, O 
Christ, and the very scarlet of the blood that is drawn 
speaks the holy name." These words she uttered 

" There are numerous instances of the marriage of Roman 
girls at this early age. 



Bergman reads sole tvith A, comparing Psych. 845. 

151 



PRUDENTIUS 

laeta canebat et intrepida ; 

dirus abest dolor ex animo, 

membraque picta cruore novo 

fonte cutem recalente lavant. 145 

ultima carnificina dehinc, 
non laceratio vulnifica, 
crate tenus nee arata cutis, 
flamma sed undique lampadibus 
in latera stomachumque furit. 150 

crinis odorus ut in iugulos 
fluxerat involitans umeris, 
quo pudibunda pudicitia 
virgineusque lateret honos, 
tegmine verticis opposite, 155 

flamma crepans volat in faciem 
perque comas vegetata caput 
occupat exsuperatque apicem ; 
virgo citum cupiens obitum 
appetit et bibit ore rogum. 160 

emicat inde columba repens 
martyris os nive candidior 
visa relinquere et astra sequi ; 
spiritus hie erat Eulaliae 
lacteolus, celer, innocuus. 165 

colla fluunt abeunte anima 
et rogus igneus emoritur ; 
pax datur artubus exanimis, 
flatus in aethere plaudit ovans 
templaque celsa petit volucer. 170 

vidit et ipse satelles avem 
feminae ab ore meare palam, 
obstupefactus et adtonitus 
prosilit et sua gesta fugit, 
lictor et ipse fugit pavidus. 175 

152 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

with never a tear or moan, cheerful and undismayed ; 
the dreadful pain did not reach her spirit while the 
fresh blood was colouring her body and washing her 
skin in its warm stream. 

Then comes the final torture, not the rending of 
wounds, not the ploughing up of the skin down to the 
ribs, but a fire from flambeaux set all round and 
raging against her sides and front. Her fragrant 
hair has streamed on to her neck and flowed over her 
shoulders to shield her bashful modesty and the grace 
of her maidenhood behind the covering of her head, 
and the roaring flames, quickened by her locks, rush 
upon her face and seize on her head, surmounting its 
top; and the maid, desiring a speedy end, eagerly 
draws the fire in through her mouth. Thence all at 
once a dove whiter than snow springs forth ; they see 
it leave the martyr's mouth and make for the stars. 
It was Eulalia's spirit, milk-white, swift, and sinless. 
Her head droops as the soul departs, and the burning 
fire dies down ; peace is granted to the lifeless body, 
while the spirit far up claps her wings in triumph 
and flies ofl* to the heavenly regions. The execu- 
tioner himself saw the bird pass plainly from the 
girl's mouth ; amazed and confounded he broke away 
and fled from what his own hands had done, and the 
lictor too fled in terror. Suddenly the icy winter 

^53 



PRUDENTIUS 

ecce nivem glacialis hiems 
ingerit et tegit omne forum, 
membra tegit simul Eulaliae 
axe iacentia sub gelido 
pallioli vice linteoli. 180 

cedat amor lacrimantum hominum, 
qui celebrare suprema solent, 
flebile cedat et officium : 
ipsa elementa iubente Deo 
exequias tibi, virgo, ferunt. 185 

nunc locus Emerita est tumulo, 
clara colonia Vettoniae, 
quam memorabilis amnis Ana 
praeterit et viridante rapax 
gurgite moenia pulchra lavit. ^ 190 

hie, ubi marmore perspicuo 
atria luminat alma nitor 
et peregrinus et indigena, 
relliquias cineresque sacros 
servat humus veneranda sinu. 195 

tecta corusca super rutilant 
de laquearibus aureolis 
saxaque caesa solum variant, 
floribus ut rosulenta putes 
prata rubescere multimodis. 200 

carpite purpureas violas 
sanguineosque crocos metite. 
non caret his genialis hiems, 
laxat et arva tepens glacies, 
floribus ut cumulet calathos. 205 

ista comantibus e foliis 
munera, virgo puerque, date, 
ast ego serta choro in medio 
texta feram pede dactylico, 



154 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, III 

pours down snow and covers all the square, covering 
Eulalia's body too where it lies under the cold sky, 
like a linen shroud. Let those who in human love and 
tears are wont to solemnize the last rites stand aside, 
let their sad office give place ; the very elements at 
God's command are performing thy obsequies, O 
maiden. 

Now her tomb stands in Emerita, that famous 
town in Vettonia by which the notable river Ana * 
passes, washing the handsome walls as it sweeps 
along with its green waters. Here, where the lustre 
of shining marble, foreign and native, lights up the 
motherly church, the worshipful earth keeps her 
remains, her holy ashes, in its bosom. Overhead the 
gleaming roof flashes light from its gilded panels, 
and shaped stones diversify the floor so that it seems 
like a rose-covered meadow blushing with varied 
blooms. Pluck ye purple violets, pick blood-red 
crocuses. Our genial winter has no lack of them ; 
the cold is tempered and loosens its grip on the land 
to load our baskets with flowers. Give her these 
gifts, you girls and boys, from the luxuriant leaves. 
But I in the midst of your company will bring gar- 
lands wreathed of dactylic measures,^ of little worth 

" The Guadiana. 

* The metre of the poem is the dactyUc tetrameter cata- 
lectic. 

155 



PRUDENTIUS 

vilia, marcida, festa tamen. 210 

sic venerarier ossa libet 
ossibus altar et inpositum : 
ilia Dei sita sub pedibus 
prospicit haec populosque suos 
carmine propitiata fovet. 215 



IV 

Hymnus in Honorem Sanctorum Decem et 
OcTo Martyrum Caesaraugustanorum. 

Bis novem noster populus sub uno 
martyrum servat cineres sepulcro : 
Caesaraugustam vocitamus urbem 

res cui tanta est. 
plena magnorum domus angelorum 5 

non timet mundi fragilis ruinam, 
tot sinu gestans simul offerenda 

munera Christo. 
cum Deus dextram quatiens coruscam 
nube subnixus veniet rubente 10 

gentibus iustam positurus aequo 

pondere libram, 
orbe de magno caput excitata 
obviam Christo properanter ibit 
civitas quaeque pretiosa portans 15 

dona canistris. 
Afra Carthago tua promet ossa, 
ore facundo Cypriane doctor, 
Corduba Acisclum dabit et Zoellum, 

tresque coronas. 20 



iS6 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

and faded, but still joyous. So will we venerate her 
bones and the altar placed over her bones, while she, 
set at the feet of God, views all our doings, our song 
wins her favour, and she cherishes her people. 



IV 

A Hymn in Honour of the Eighteen Holy 
Martyrs of Caesaraugusta.** 

Eighteen martyrs' ashes our people keeps in a 
single grave, and Caesaraugusta is the name we 
call the city which has this great possession. A 
house that is filled with great saints fears not the 
downfall of this mortal world, since it bears in its 
bosom so many gifts to be offered together to Christ. 
When God, seated on a fiery cloud and shaking his 
flashing hand, shall come to set up his true balance for 
the nations and weigh them justly, then from out the 
great world every city will raise its head and go 
quickly to meet Christ, carrying its costly gifts in 
baskets. African Carthage will bring forth thy bones, 
Cyprian,^ teacher of the eloquent lips. Corduba " 
will give Acisclus and Zoellus and her three crowns. 

» Saragossa. The eighteen would appear to have suffered 
together, clearly (from lines 101-108) in some persecution 
earlier than that of Diocletian, of which St. Vincent was a 
victim. 

^ He was bishop of Carthage. Cf. XIII. 

" Cordova. The " three crowns " (i.e. three other martyrs) 
were perhaps Faustus, Januarius and Martialis, who suffered 
there. 

157 



PRUDENTIUS 

tu tribus gemmis diadema pulchrum 
ofFeres Christo, genetrix piorum 
Tarraco, intexit cui Fructuosus 

sutile vinclum. 
nomen hoc gemmae strophio inligatae est ; 25 
emicant iuxta lapides gemelli 
ardet et splendor parilis duorum 

igne corusco. 
parva Felicis decus exhibebit 
artubus Sanctis locuples Gerunda ; 30 

nostra gestabit Calagurris ambos 

quos veneramur. 
Barchinon claro Cucufate freta 
surget, et Paulo speciosa Narbo, 
teque praepollens Arelas habebit, 35 

sancte Genesi. 
Lusitanorum caput oppidorum 
urbs adoratae cineres puellae 
obviam Christo rapiens ad aram 

porriget ipsam. 40 

sanguinem lusti, cui Pastor haeret, 
ferculum duplex geminumque donum 
ferre Complutum gremio iuvabit 

membra duorum. 
ingeret Tingis sua Cassianum, 46 

festa Massylum monumenta regum, 
qui cinis gentes domitas coegit 

ad iuga Christi. 
singulis paucae, tribus aut duobus, 

" Tarragona. The " three jewels " are Fructuosus, Augurius 
and Eulogius. Cf. VI. 
* Gerona. 
' Emeterius and Chelidonius. Cf. I. 

158 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

Thou, Tarraco," mother of godly children, wilt offer to 
Christ a beauteous diadem with three jewels, for 
Fructuosus works thee a band in which they are set. 
This name belongs to one jewel fastened on the 
band, and beside it shine twin stones, both blazing in 
equal lustre with a flash of fire. Little Gerunda ^ will 
present Felix, her glory, for his holy body makes her 
rich; and our own Calagurris bring the two whom 
we venerate.'' Barchinon ^ will rise up in reliance on 
famed Cucufas, fair Narbo ^ on Paulus, and great 
Arelas^ will have thee, holy Genesius. The city which 
is head of the towns of Lusitania / will take the ashes 
of the girl it reverences to meet Christ and present 
them at the very altar. It will be Complutum's fi' 
delight to bring in her arms the blood of Justus 
with Pastor close beside, bearing on two carriers a 
twofold gift, the bodies of the twain. His native 
Tingis,^ memorial of Massylian kings, will joyously 
present Cassian,* the ashes of him who subdued 
her pagans and brought them under the yoke of 
Christ. A few cities will find favour because of only 

'' Barcelona. 

* Towns in southern Gaul (Narbonne and Aries). 

/ Emerita. The girl is Eulalia. Cf. III. 

' Alcala. 

'' Tangier. The Massyli were often confused with the 
Masaesyli who lived farther west, in the " provincia 
Tingitana " (Pliny, Nat. Hist. V, 17). Tingis was an ancient 
town. According to local tradition it was founded by 
Antaeus (Mela I, 26, Pliny V, 2) with whom Hercules 
wrestled, and whose grave was there ; or by Sophax (a son of 
Hercules) who was King of the country and whose son 
extended the kingdom (Plutarch, Sertorius, 9). 

' Not the Cassian of IX. He was in attendance as clerk 
at the trial of the centurion Marcellus, and in protest against 
the death-sentence threw down his pen and tablets. 

159 



i6o 



PRUDENTIUS 

forsan et quinis aliquae placebunt 50 

testibus Christi prius hostiarum 

pignere functae : 
tu decern sanctos revehes et octo, 
Caesaraugusta studiosa Christo, 
verticem flavis oleis revincta, 55 

pacis honore. 
sola in occursum numerosiores 
mart3n'um turbas Domino parasti, 
sola praedives pietate multa 

luce frueris. 60 

vix parens orbis populosa Poeni, 
ipsa vix Roma in solio locata 
te, decus nostrum, superare in isto ♦ 

munere digna est. 
omnibus portis sacer immolatus 65 

sanguis exclusit genus invidorum 
daemonum et nigras pepulit tenebras 

urbe piata. 
nuUus umbrarum latet intus horror, 
pulsa nam pestis populum refugit ; 70 

Christus in totis habitat plateis, 

Christus ubique est. 
martyrum credas patriam coronis 
debitam sacris, chorus unde surgens 
tendit in caelum niveus togatae 75 

nobilitatis. 
inde, Vincenti, tua palma nata est, 
clerus hie tantum peperit triumphum, 
hie sacerdotum domus infulata 

Valeriorum. 80 

saevus antiquis quotiens procellis 

turbo vexatum tremefecit orbem, 
___ 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

one, some because of two or three, perhaps even of 
five witnesses to Christ, the sacrifices they gave 
in pledge before. But thou, Caesaraugusta, that art 
zealous for Christ, wilt bring again thy holy eighteen, 
thy head wreathed with golden olives, the ornament 
of peace. In number greater than any other city 
thou hast companies of martyrs ready to meet the 
Lord; thou wilt enjoy great light because thou dost 
surpass all in the riches of thy devotion. Scarce is 
the populous mother of the Punic world, scarce 
Rome herself, set on her throne, worthy to outstrip 
thee, our glory, in this offering. The sacrifice of holy 
blood has shut out the race of malign devils from all 
thy gates and driven black darkness from thy cleansed 
city. No shuddering fear of spirits lurks within, for 
the plague has been driven away in flight from thy 
people, and Christ dwells in all thy streets, Christ is 
everywhere. It is as if this home-land of martyrs 
had been destined for the sacred crowns, there rises 
from it towards heaven such a company of its high- 
born citizens clad in snow-white robes. It was here, 
Vincent,* thy victory began, here the clergy won 
their great triumph, and here the vested family of 
the priestly Valerii. Whenever in the tempests of 
the olden time the cruel hurricane troubled and 

i6i 

VOL. II. o 



PRUDENTIUS 

tristior templum rabies in istud 

intulit iras, 
nee furor quisquam sine laude nostrum 85 

cessit aut clari vacuus cruoris ; 
martyrum semper numerus sub omni 

grandine crevit. 
nonne, Vincenti, peregri necandus 
martyr his terris tenui notasti 90 

sanguinis rore speciem futuri 

morte propinqua ? 
hoc colunt cives, velut ipsa membra 
caespes includat suus et paterno 
servet amplectens tumulo beati 95 

martyris ossa. 
noster est, quamvis procul hinc in urbe 
passus ignota dederit sepulcri 
gloriam victor prope litus altae 

forte Sagunti. 100 

noster et nostra puer in palaestra 
arte virtutis fideique olivo 
unctus horrendum didicit domare 

viribus hostem. 
noverat templo celebres in isto 105 

octies partas deciesque palmas ; 
laureis doctus patriis eadem 

laude cucurrit, 
hie et, Encrati, recubant tuarum 
ossa virtutum, quibus efferati 110 

spiritum mundi, violenta virgo, 

dedecorasti. 
martyrum nulli remanente vita 
contigit terris habitare nostris ; 
sola tu morti propriae superstes 115 

vivis in orbe. 



x62 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

shook the world, a fiercer fury hurled its wrath on 
this church, and its raging never passed without 
bringing honour to our people nor without shedding 
of famous blood ; always the number of martyrs grew 
larger under every storm. Didst thou not, Vincent, 
though thou wert to suffer death elsewhere, with a 
light shower of martyr's blood mark on these lands 
the shape of what was to come, when thy death was at 
hand ? <* This thy fellow-citizens reverence just as if 
its native ground covered the very body, keeping the 
blessed martyr's bones in its embrace in his family 
tomb. Ours he is, though as it befell it was in a strange 
city far from here that he suffered and in victory gave 
it the honour of having his burial-place, near the shore 
of lofty Saguntus. Ours he is ; it was in our training- 
school that as a boy he was instructed in the art of 
goodness and anointed with the oil of faith, and 
learned to subdue the dire enemy with his strength. 
He had learned that in this church eighteen famous 
victories were won, and taught by his native city's 
laurels he ran his race with the same honour. Here 
too, Encratis, lies the body that lodged thy virtues 
with which, a forceful maiden, thou didst put to 
shame the spirit of the savage world. To none of 
the martyrs was it given to live on and dwell in our 
land ; thou art the only one to survive thy death and 

" St. Vincent was a deacon at Caesaraugusta, but suffered 
at Valentia. Eugenius (Bishop of Toledo at the middle of the 
7th century), in his verses on the basilica of St. Vincent at 
Caesaraugusta, refers to blood flowing from his nostrils there. 

163 



PRUDENTIUS 

vivis, ac poenae seriem retexis, 
carnis et caesae spolium retentans 
taetra quam sulcos habeant amaros 

vulnera narras. 120 

barbarus tortor latus omne carpsit, 
sanguis inpensus, lacerata membra, 
pectus abscisa patuit papilla 

corde sub ipso. 
iam minus mortis pretium peraetae est, 125 

quae venenatos abolens dolores 
concitam membris tribuit quietem 

fine soporo. 
cruda te longum tenuit cicatrix 
et diu venis dolor haesit ardens, 130 

dum putrescentes tenuat medullas 

tabidus umor. 
invidus quamvis obitum supremum 
persecutoris gladius negarit, 
plena te, martyr, tamen ut peremptam, 135 

poena coronat, 
vidimus partem iecoris revulsam 
ungulis longe iacuisse pressis : 
mors habet pallens aliquid tuorum 

te quoque viva. 140 

hunc novum nostrae titulum fruendum 
Caesaraugustae dedit ipse Christus, 
iuge viventis domus ut dicata 

martyris esset. 
ergo ter senis sacra candidatis, 145 

dives Optato, simul et Luperco, 
perge conscriptum tibimet senatum 

pangere psalmis. 
ede Successum, cane Martialem, 
mors et Urbani tibi concinatur, 150 



164 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

live in the world. Thou didst live and recount the 
story of thy sufferings one after another ; thou didst 
not quit hold of thy flesh though they cut it and 
would have robbed thee of it, and thou didst tell 
how grievous were the gashes of thy hideous wounds. 
The barbarous tormentor tore all thy side, thy blood 
was shed, thy limbs mangled, thy breast cut off and 
thy bosom laid open down to the very heart. Death 
surely when it is carried through is a lesser price to 
pay, for it puts an end to the envenomed pains 
and quickly gives the body rest in the final sleep. 
But the bleeding wound long held thee back, the 
burning pain clung long to thy flesh, till corrupt 
discharge wasted thy vitals in decay. Though the 
sword of the persecutor grudged and denied thee 
death to end all, yet the full measure of suffering 
gives thee the crown as much as if thou hadst been 
slain, and we salute thee as martyr. We saw a part 
of thy inwards torn away by the grip of the claws 
and lie far off; wan death possessed something of 
thine even in thy lifetime. This honour without 
precedent Christ himself gave to our town of 
Caesaraugusta to enjoy, that it should be the 
consecrated home of a martyr whose life was not 
ended. 

Therefore since thou art made sacred in virtue of 
the white-robed eighteen, being enriched with 
Optatus and Lupercus together, come, sing in sacred 
song the praises of thine enrolled senators. Tell of 
Successus, sing of Martialis. Let thy song celebrate 
the death of Urbanus too, and thy melody sound 

i65 



PRUDENTIUS 

luliam cantus resonet simulque 

Quintilianum. 
Publium pangat chorus et revolvat 
quale Frontonis fuerit tropaeum, 
quid bonus Felix tulerit, quid acer 

Caecilianus, 
quantus, Evoti, tua bella sanguis 
tinxerit, quantus tua, Primitive, 
turn tuos vivax recolat triumphos 

laus, Apodemi. 
quattuor posthinc superest virorum 
nomen extolli renuente metro, 
quos Saturninos memorat vocatos 

prisca vetustas. 
carminis leges amor aureorum 
nominum parvi facit, et loquendi 
cura de Sanctis vitiosa non est 

nee rudis umquam. 
plenus est artis modus adnotatas 
nominum formas recitare Christo, 
quas tenet caeli liber explicandus 

tempore iusto. 
octo tunc sanctos recolet decemque 
angelus coram Patre Filioque 
urbis unius regimen tenentes 

iure sepulcri. 
quin ad antiquum numerum trahetur 
viva post poenae specimen puella, 
morsque ^ Vincenti, cui sanguis hinc est 

fons et honoris, 
additis ^ Gaio (nee enim silendi) 
teque, Crementi, quibus incruentum 

^ tuque ^. 



x66 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IV 

forth the names of Julia and Quintilian together. 
Let the choir sing of Publius and tell again the story 
of Fronto's victory, of the sufferings good Felix bore, 
and brave Caecilianus, of the much blood that dyed 
thy warfare, Evotius, and thine, Primitivus ; and let 
eager praise rehearse thy triumphs, Apodemius. It 
still remains to exalt the name of four though my 
metre refuses. Old times of long ago tell that they 
were each called Saturninus. Love of their golden 
names makes light of the rules of verse,** and concern 
to speak of the saints is never incorrect nor bar- 
barous. The measure of art is full if we recite to 
Christ the forms of the names as they are written 
down and contained in the book of heaven which shall 
be opened at the due time. Then shall the angel in 
presence of the Father and the Son rehearse the 
names of the eighteen saints who hold the govern- 
ance of a single city in right of their burial here. 
And over and above the ancient number will be 
brought in the girl who lived on after exemplary 
suffering, and the death of Vincent, whose blood and 
glory draw from here; with Gaius and thee, Cre- 
mentius, for you twain are not to be passed over; 

" The names from Optatus to the four Satumini are eighteen. 
In line 163 the poet deliberately violates the Sapphic metre by 
beginning with a spondee in order to admit the name. Eugenius 
of Toledo in a poem on the basUica of the eighteen martyrs 
contrives to get all the names in by writing successive lines in 
dififerent metres. He does not mention the name Saturninus, 
but four in his list which are not in that of Prudentius are 
Cassianus, Januarius, Matutinus and Faustus, These may 
have borne the name Saturninus also. He also gives Julius, 
not Julia (see line 151). 

" Lines 181-188 are wanting in A, the oldest MS., and are 
bracketed by Bergman, 

167 



PRUDENTIUS 

ferre provenit decus ex secundo 

laudis agone. 
ambo confess! Dominum steterunt 185 

acriter contra fremitum latronum, 
ambo gustarunt leviter saporem 

martyriorum. 
haec sub altari sita sempiterno 
lapsibus nostris veniam precatur 190 

turba, quam servat procerum creatrix 

purpureorum. 
nos pio fletu, date, perluamus 
marmorum sulcos, quibus est operta 
spes ut absolvam retinaculorum 195 

vincla meorum. 
sterne te totam generosa Sanctis 
civitas mecum tumulis ; deinde 
mox resurgentes animas et artus 

tota sequeris. 200 



Passio Sancti Vincenti Martyris. 

Beate martyr, prospera 
diem triumphalem tuum, 
quo sanguinis merces tibi 
corona, Vincenti, datur. 

hie te ex tenebris saeculi 5 

tortore victo et iudice 
evexit ad caelum dies 
Christoque ovantem reddidit. 

" Or " a secondary contest ". Arevalo suggested that secundo 
here means " of the second rank," on the ground that though 

i68 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

it was your fortune to win bloodless honour out of a 
victorious " contest for glory. Both confessed the 
Lord and boldly faced the devils' roaring, and both 
tasted lightly the savour of martyrdom. All this 
company, laid under the everlasting altar * and kept 
by a mother of purple-robed leaders, prays for pardon 
for our backslidings. Come, let us with pious tears 
wash the letters cut on the marble slabs under which 
lies my hope of unloosing the bonds which hold me 
fast. Cast thyself down along with me, noble city, 
on the holy graves, thou and all thy people ; then 
when their souls and bodies rise again thou and all 
thy people will follow them. 



The Passion of St. Vincent the Martyr.*' 

Blessed martyr, prosper the day of thy victory, the 
day which marks the giving of the crown to thee, 
Vincent, in recompense for thy blood. This day, when 
thou hadst overcome torturer and judge, raised thee 
out of this world's darkness up to heaven and delivered 
thee in triumph to Christ. Now in company with the 

they evidently suffered pains or imprisonment they were not 
put to death, and were therefore properly " confessors," not 
martyrs. 

* Cf. Revelation vi, 9. 

" Cf. IV, 77-108. 

169 



PRUDENTIUS 

nunc angelorum particeps 
conlucis insigni stola, 10 

quam testis indomabilis 
rivis cruoris laveras, 

cum te satelles idoli 
praecinctus atris legibus 

litare divis gentium 15 

ferro et catenis cogeret. 

ac verba primum mollia 
suadendo blande effuderat, 
captator ut vitulum lupus 
rapturus adludit prius. 20 

" rex," inquit, " orbis maximus, 
qui sceptra gestat Romula,^ 
servire sanxit omnia 
priscis deorum cultibus. 

vos, Nazareni, adsistite, 25 

rudemque ritum spernite. 
haec saxa, quae princeps colit, 
placate fumo et victima." 

exclamat hie Vincentius, 
Levita de tribu sacra, 30 

minister altaris Dei, 
septem ex columnis lacteis ; 

" tibi ista praesint numina, 
tu saxa, tu lignum colas, 

tu mortuorum mortuus 35 

fias deorum pontifex. 

nos lucis auctorem Patrem 
eiusque Christum Filium, 
qui solus ac verus Deus, 
Datiane, confitebimur." 40 

hie ille iam commotior, 
" audesne, non felix," ait, 



170 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

angels thou shinest bright in the glorious robe which 
as an invincible witness thou didst wash in streams 
of blood, when the minister of idolatry, armed with 
malignant laws, sought to compel thee with steel and 
chains to offer sacrifice to the pagans' gods. First 
he had uttered smooth, soft words of exhortation, 
like a wolf on the hunt which first is pleasant with 
the calf it means to ravish. " The mighty sovereign 
of the world," says he, " who bears the sceptre of 
Rome, has ordained that all the world shall be 
subject to the ancient forms of religion. Ye Naza- 
renes, attend, and put away your crude observance. 
These stones which the emperor worships you must 
propitiate with the smoke of sacrifice." Hereupon 
Vincent, a Levite" of the sacred tribe and servant of 
the altar of God, one of the seven milk-white pillars, 
cries aloud : " Let these powers be your masters ; 
you may worship stones and wood and become the 
dead priest of dead gods. As for us, we shall confess 
the Father who is the author of light, and Christ his 
Son; He is the true and only God, O Datianus." * 
On this the other grows warmer. " Dare you, un- 

« Cf. II, 37-40. 

" Governor of Spain under Maximian, the colleague of 
Diocletian. 

^ publica AP {Bergman). B is wanting. 

171 



PRUDENTIUS 

" ius hoc deorum et principum 
violare verbis asperis, 

ius et sacratum et publicum, 45 

cui cedit humanum genus, 
nee te iuventae fervidae 
instans periclum permovet ? 

hoc namque decretum cape : 
aut ara ture et caespite 50 

precanda iam nunc est tibi, 
aut mors luenda est sanguine." 

respondit ille altrinsecus : 
" age ergo, quidquid virium, 
quidquid potestatis tibi est, 55 

palam reluctor, exere ! 

vox nostra quae sit, accipe : 
est Christus et Pater Deus : 
servi huius et testes sumus ; 
extorque, si potes, fidem ! 60 

tormenta, career, ungulae 
stridensque flammis lammina, 
atque ipsa poenarum ultima 
mors Christianis ludus est. 

o vestra inanis vanitas 65 

scitumque brutum Caesaris ! 
condigna vestris sensibus 
coli iubetis numina 

excisa fabrili manu, 
cavis recocta et follibus, 70 

quae voce, quae gressu carent, 
inmota, caeca, elinguia. 

his sumptuosa splendid© 
delubra crescunt marmore, 
his colla mugientium 75 

percussa taurorum cadunt. 



172 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

happy man," he says, " with rude speech outrage 
this authority of gods and emperors, authority at 
once religious and political, to which mankind gives 
way, and does not the peril that threatens you in the 
heat of your youth alarm you ? For truly this is the 
order you miist accept : either must you here and now 
make supplication at the altar with incense and turf,« 
or pay the penalty of a bloody death." Vincent for 
his part answered : " Come then, put forth all your 
strength and all your authority; I openly resist it. 
Hear what it is we say : Christ and the Father are 
God ; his servants and witnesses we are. Rob us of 
our faith if you can. Torture, imprisonment, the 
claws, the hissing red-hot plate, even the final 
suffering of death, are all mere sport to Christians. 
How vain and futile are you rulers ! How senseless 
Caesar's decree ! You bid us worship deities that 
match your own minds, deities hewn out by a work- 
man's hand, or cast with the help of the hollow 
bellows, devoid of speech and motion, standing still, 
blind and dumb. It is to these that costly shrines of 
gleaming marble rise, for these that lowing bulls are 
struck on the throat and fall. You will tell me there 

, " Freshly cut turf is often mentioned as being used for an 
impromptu or temporary altar {e.g. Horace, Odes, I, 19, 13). 

173 



PRUDENTIUS 

at sunt 1 et illic spiritus. 
sunt, sed magistri criminum 
vestrae et salutis aucupes, 
vagi, inpotentes, sordidi, 80 

qui vos latenter incites 
in omne conpellunt nefas, 
vastare iustos caedibus, 
plebem piorum carpere. 

norunt et ipsi ac sentiunt 85 

pollere Christum et vivere, 
eiusque iam iamque adfore 
regnum tremendum perfidis. 

clamant fatentes denique 
pulsi ex latebris viscerum ^ 90 

virtute Christi et nomine, 
divique et idem daemones." 

his intonantem martyrem 
iudex profanus non tulit. 

conclamat: " os obtrudite, 95 

ne plura iactet inprobus. 

vocem loquentis claudite 
raptimque lictores date, 
illos reorum Plutones 
pastos resectis carnibus.^ 100 

iam faxo ius praetorium 
conviciator sentiat, 
inpune ne nostris sibi 
dis destruendis luserit. 

tibi ergo soli, contumax, . 105 

Tarpeia calcentur sacra ? 
tu porro solus obteras 
Romam, senatum, Caesarem? 

vinctum retortis bracchiis 
sursum ac deorsum extendite, 110 



174 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

are spirits there too. Yes, but spirits that are 
teachers of sin, that lay traps for your lives, roaming, 
violent, filthy spirits that privily push and drive you 
into every kind of wickedness, to ravage the righteous 
with slaughter and destroy the people of the godly. 
Even they know and are conscious that Christ has 
power and lives and that his kingdom, which the 
faithless must dread, will presently come ; and they 
cry out in confession when they are driven from their 
hiding in the flesh by the power and name of Christ. 
Your gods are devils too." * 

Out of all patience with these thunders of the 
martyr, the heathen judge cries : " Stop his mouth, 
let the scoundrel say no more. Imprison his speech. 
Quick ! Put the executioners on him, those gods of 
death for criminals, who feed on the flesh they cut 
off. Now I shall make this railer feel the authority 
of a governor ; he shall not get off with pulling down 
our gods for his amusement. Have you then the 
insolence to claim that you alone must be allowed to 
tread the Tarpeian * rites under foot, and you alone 
to trample on Rome, the senate, Caesar? Tie him 
with his arms behind and rack him upwards and 

» Cf. I Corinthians x, 20-21. 

* As the Tarpeian Rock was on the Capitoline hill at Rome, 
the phrase means the worship of the deities whose temples 
were on the Capitol, especially Jupiter, whom Propertius 
(IV, 1, 7) calls " Tarpeius pater." 



^ Most of the later MSS. have adsunt or assunt. 

* So AOP {B and U are not available). The other 31 SS. 
have corporum. 

' So ACP {B and U are not available). The other MSS. 
have illos reorum carnibus pastos manuque exercitos. 

175 



PRUDENTIUS 

conpago donee ossuum 
divulsa membratim crepet. 

posthinc hiulcis ictibus 
nudate costarum abdita, 

ut per latebras ^ vulnerum 115 

iecur retectum palpitet." 

ridebat haec miles Dei 
manus cruentas increpans 
quod fixa non profundius 
Intraret artus ungula. 120 

ac iam omne robur fortium 
eviscerando cesserat, 
nisusque anhelus solverat 
fessos laeertorum toros. 

ast ille tanto laetior 125 

omni vacantem nubilo 
frontem serenam luminat 
te, Christe, praesentem videns. 

" quis vultus iste, pro pudor! " 
Datianus aiebat furens, 130 

" gaudet, renidet, provocat 
tortore tortus acrior ! 

nil ilia vis exercita 
tot noxiorum mortibus 

agone in isto proficit, 135 

ars et dolorum vincitur. 

sed vos, alumni carceris, 
par semper invictum mihi, 
cohibete paulum dexteras, 
respiret ut lassus vigor. 140 

praesicca rursus ulcera, 
dum se cicatrix colligit 
refrigerati sanguinis, 
manus resulcans diruet." 



176 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

downwards till the joints of his bones in every limb 
are rent asunder with a crack. Then with cleaving 
strokes lay bare his ribs of their covering, so that his 
organs shall be exposed as they throb in the recesses 
of the wounds." But the soldier of God laughed at 
these commands, rebuking the blood-stained hands 
because the claw thrust into him did not enter more 
deeply into his body. And now the strong men had 
used up all their powers in tearing him to pieces, 
their panting exertion had tired and relaxed the 
muscles of their arms ; but Vincent was only the more 
cheerful, his countenance all unclouded and bright, 
being lit up with the sight of thy presence, O Christ. 
" What look is this ? Oh shame ! " cried Datianus in 
a passion. " He is joyful and smiling ! It is a chal- 
lenge ! The tortured is bolder than the torturer ! 
The energy so practised in the death of malefactors 
miakes no headway in this contest, its skill to hurt 
is being beaten. But, you foster-sons of the prison, 
a pair I have ever found invincible, hold your hands 
awhile that your wearied vigour may revive. When 
the wounds are quite dry and the congealed blood is 
gathering in a scar, your hand vdll plough them up 
again and tear them open." 

* So ACP {B and U are not available). The other MSS. 
have lacunas. 

177 



PRUDENTIUS 

his contra Levites refert : 145 

" si iam tuorum perspicis 
languere virtutem canum, 
age ipse, maior carnifex, 

ostende quo pacto queant 
imos recessus scindere, 150 

manus et ipse intersere 
rivosque ferventes bibe. 

erras, cruente, si meam 
te rere poenam sumere 

cum membra morti obnoxia 155 

dilancinata interficis. 

est alter, est intrinsecus, 
violare quem nullus potest, 
liber, quietus, integer, 
exsors dolorum tristium. 160 

hoc, quod laboras perdere 
tantis furoris viribus, 
vas est solutum ac fictile, 
quocumque frangendum modo. 

quin immo nunc enitere 165 

ilium secare ac plectere 
qui perstat intus, qui tuam 
calcat, tyranne, insaniam. 

hunc, hunc lacesse, hunc discute, 
invictum, inexsuperabilem, 170 

nullis procellis subditum, 
solique subiectum Deo." 

haec fatur et stridentibus 
laniatur uncis denuo. 

cui praetor ore subdolo 175 

anguina verba exsibilat : 

" si tanta callum pectoris 
praedurat obstinatio 



178 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

To this the deacon retorts : "If now you see the 
powers of your dogs grow feeble, come (for you are 
yourself the superior executioner), show them how 
they can cleave me to my lowest depths ; put in your 
own hands and drink the hot streams. You mistake, 
bloody man, if you think you are exacting punishment 
from me when you mangle and kill a body which is 
naturally subject to death. There is another, within 
the body, whom no man is able to outrage, who is 
unconfined, undisturbed, unharmed, exempt from 
all your grievous pains. This that you struggle to 
destroy with such vehement passion is but a frail 
vessel of clay, doomed to be broken in one way or 
another. But try now rather to cut and beat the 
being who stands fast within, who tramples on your 
madness, persecutor! This, this is he you must 
attack and destroy, a being who is invincible, un- 
conquerable, subject to no storms, and under God 
alone." At these words he is once more torn with 
the creaking hooks, and the governor with crafty lips 
hisses out at him a serpent's words : " If your stub- 
bom spirit makes your breast so thick-skinned and 

179 



PRUDENTIUS 

pulvinar ut nostrum manu 

abomineris tangere, 180 

saltern latentes paginas 
librosque opertos detege, 
quo secta pravum seminans 
iustis cremetur ignibus." 

his martyr auditis ait : 185 

" quem tu, maligna, mysticis 
minitaris ignem litteris, 
flagrabis ipse hoc iustius. 

romphaea nam caelestium 
vindex erit voluminum 1 90 

tanti veneni interpretem 
linguam perurens fulmine. 

vides favillas indices 
Gomorreorum criminum, 

Sodomita nee latet cinis, 195 

testis perennis funeris. 

exemplar hoc, serpens, tuum est, 
fuligo quem mox sulphuris 
bitumen et mixtum pice 
imo inplicabunt Tartaro." 200 

his persecutor saucius 
pallet, rubescit, aestuat 
insana torquens lumina, 
spumasque frendens egerit. 

tum deinde cunctatus diu 205 

decernit: " extrema omnium 
igni, grabato et lamminis 
exerceatur quaestio." 

haec ille sese ad munera 
gradu citato proripit 210 

ipsosque pernix gaudio 
poenae ministros praevenit. 



i8o 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

hard that you abhor to touch our sacred couch " with 
your hand, at least disclose your secret writings, your 
hidden books, that the teaching which sows the 
vicious seed may be burned with the fire it merits." * 
But on hearing this the martyr replies: " In your 
spite you threaten our mystic writings with fire, but 
you yourself will burn with fire more merited, for the 
sword of God will avenge our heaven-inspired books, 
consuming with its lightning-flash the tongue that 
gives expression to such venom. You see the glow- 
ing embers that tell of Gomorrah's sins, and the 
ashes of Sodom are a plain witness of everlasting 
death. This is the pattern of you, serpent ; one day 
sulphurous soot and mingled bitumen and pitch will 
enwrap you deep in hell." Stricken with these 
words the persecutor turns first pale, then red, and in 
the heat of his passion rolls his eyes frantically this 
way and that, gnashing his teeth and foaming at the 
mouth. Then after hesitating long he gives com- 
mand : " Let the last degree of torture be applied, 
with fire and bed « and plates." 

To these tasks Vincent hurries with quick step. 
Joy gives him speed and he outstrips the very 
ministers of torture. Now they have reached the 

" Properly a cushioned couch on which the image of a god 
was placed at the celebration of a lectisternium. Cf. X, 1056. 

* Diocletian's first edict, issued early in 303, included an 
order for the burning of copies of the scriptures. Two other 
edicts followed shortly after it, one for the imprisonment of 
the clergy, the other ordering that they should sacrifice to the 
gods of the state. 

" The gridiron. 

i8j 



PRUDENTIUS 

ventum ad palaestram gloriae ; 
spes certat et crudelitas, 

luctamen anceps conserunt 215 

hinc martyr, illinc carnifex. 

serrata lectum regula 
dente infrequent! exasperat, 
cui multa carbonum strues 
vivum vaporat halitum. 220 

hunc sponte conscendit rogum 
vir sanetus ore interrito, 
ceu iam coronae conscius 
celsum tribunal scanderet. 

subter crepante aspergine 225 

scintillat excussus salis 
punctisque fervens stridulis 
sparsim per artus figitur. 

arvina posthinc igneum 
inpressa cauterem lavit, 230 

vis unde roris fumidi 
in membra sensim liquitur, 

haec inter inmotus manet 
tamquam dolorum nescius, 

tenditque in altum lumina, 235 

nam vincla palmas presserant. 

sublatus inde fortior 
liigubre in antrum truditur, 
ne liber usus luminis 
animaret altum spiritum. 240 

est intus imo ergastulo 
locus tenebris nigrior, 
quem saxa mersi fornicis 
angusta clausum strangulant. 

aeterna nox illic latet 245 

expers diurni sideris ; 



183 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

wrestling-ground where the prize is glory, where 
hope contends with cruelty, and martyr and torturer 
face each other and join in the critical struggle. A 
spiked grid, its teeth wide-spaced, makes a cruel 
bed, and on to it a great mass of coals exhales its 
burning breath. Of his own accord the holy man 
mounts this pyre with no fear in his look, just as if he 
felt the crown already on his head and were going up 
on to the judgment-seat on high. Salt sprinkled on 
the fire crackles under him and darts out in hot sparks 
which fasten themselves in hissing punctures here or 
there over his body. Next a piece of fat is laid on a 
glowing iron and runs melting over it so that the 
potent liquid, smoking hot, falls drop by drop on his 
frame. Amid all this he remains unmoved as if 
feeling no pain, and lifts his eyes to heaven (for his 
hands were kept down by the bonds). Then with 
courage heightened he is taken up from the grid and 
thrust into a doleful dungeon so that the free enjoy- 
ment of light may not quicken his noble spirit. 
Deep down within the prison is a place of blacker 
darkness ; the narrow stonework of a subterranean 
vault keeps it close-throttled, and there hidden 
away lies everlasting night, never seeing the star 

183 



PRUDENTIUS 

hie career horrendus suos 
habere fertur inferos. 

in hoc barathrum conicit 
truculentus hostis martyrem, 250 

lignoque plantas inserit 
divaricatis cruribus. 

quin addit et poenam novam 
crueis peritus artifex, 

nuUi tyranno cognitam 255 

nee fando eonpertam retro. 

fragmenta testarum iubet 
hirta, inpolitis angulis, 
acuminata, informia, 
tergo iacentis sternerent. 260 

totum cubile spiculis 
armant dolores anxii, 
insomne qui subter latus 
mucrone pulsent obvio. 

haec ille versutus vafra 265 

meditatus arte struxerat, 
sed Belzebulis callida 
commenta Christus destruit. 

nam carceralis caecitas 
splendore lucis fulgurat, 270 

duplexque morsus stipitis 
ruptis cavernis dissilit. 

agnoscit hie Vincentius 
adesse, quod speraverat, 

tanti laboris praemium, 275 

Christum datorem luminis. 

cernit deinde fragmina 
iam testularum moUibus 
vestire semet floribus, 
redolente nectar carcere. 280 



184 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

of day ; men say this gruesome prison has a Hades 
of its own. Into this pit his fierce foe hurls the 
martyr and sets his feet in the stocks with his legs 
stretched wide apart. And being a skilled master 
of the art of torture he adds a new kind of suffering, 
not known to any oppressor before nor ever heard 
of in time past : he gives order to strew broken pots, 
rough, shapeless bits with jagged corners and sharp 
points, for his back to lie on. Galling pains arm the 
whole bed with pricks to keep striking on the body 
from below with sharp points ever in the way, and give 
it no repose. These devices the clever Datianus had 
contrived with thought and cunning skill, but Christ 
brings Beelzebub's artful inventions to naught. For 
the blind darkness of the prison flashes with a 
brilliant light and the two clamps of the stocks fly 
apart, breaking the holes open. Hereupon Vincent 
apprehends that the hoped-for prize of all his toil, 
Christ the giver of light, is here with him. Then he 
sees the bits of broken pottery clothe themselves 
with tender flowers, while the prison exhales the 

185 



PRUDENTIUS 

quin et frequentes angeli 
stant ac loquuntur comminus, 
quorum unus ore augustior 
conpellat his dictis virum : 

" exsurge, martyr inclyte, 285 

exsurge securus tui, 
exsurge et almis coetibus 
noster sodalis addere. 

decursa iam satis tibi 
poenae minacis munia, 290 

pulchroque mortis exitu 
omnis peracta est passio. 

o miles invictissime, 
fortissimorum fortior, 

iam te ipsa saeva et aspera 295 

tormenta victorem tremunt. 

spectator haec Christus Deus 
conpensat aevo intermino, 
propriaeque collegam crucis 
larga coronat dextera. 300 

pone hoe caducum vasculum 
conpage textum terrea, 
quod dissipatum solvitur, 
et liber in caelum veni." 

haec ille ; sed clausas fores 305 

interna rumpunt lumina 
tenuisque per rimas nitor 
lucis latentis proditur. 

hoc cum stuperet territus 
obsessor atri liminis, 310 

quern cura pernox manserat 
servare feralem domum, 

psallentis audit insuper 
praedulce carmen martyris, 



i86 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

scent of nectar. And a great number of angels stand 
and speak with him face to face, of whom one with 
more majestic mien addresses him in these words: 
" Arise, martyr renowned; arise, and have no con- 
cern for thyself; arise and join our beneficent 
companies as our fellow. To the full now hast thou 
done thy part in enduring the menace of suffering, 
and with a noble death to end it thy passion is all 
finished. Most invincible of soldiers, bravest of the 
brave, now the savage, cruel torments themselves 
tremble before thee their conqueror. God the 
Christ, who watched thee, makes up for them with 
endless life, and with generous hand crowns thee as 
the partner of his cross. Lay aside this mortal 
vessel, a fabric of earthen structure which dissolves 
and falls to pieces, and come in freedom to the skies." 
So speaks the angel, and thereupon the splendour 
within breaks through the closed doors, the piercing 
brightness of the hidden light reveals itself through 
the chinks. Amazed and frightened at this the 
keeper of the dismal doorway, on whom was laid 
the night-long task of watching that house of death, 
hears also the passing-sweet song the martyr is 

187 



PRUDENTIUS 

cui vocis instar aemulae 315 

conclave reddit concavum. 

pavens deinde introspicit, 
admota quantum postibus 
acies per artas cardinum 
intrare iuncturas potest. 320 

vemare multis floribus 
stramenta testarum videt 
ipsumque vulsis nexibus 
obambulantem pangere. 

inplentur aures turbidi 325 

praetoris hoc miraculo ; 
flet victus et volvit gemens 
iram, dolorem, dedecus. 

" exemptus," inquit, " career! 
paulum benignis fotibus 330 

recreetur, ut pastum novum 
poenis refectus praebeat." 

coire toto ex oppido 
turbam fidelem cerneres, 

mollire praefultum torum, 335 

siccare cruda vulnera. 

ille ungularum duplices 
sulcos pererrat osculis, 
hie purpurantem corporis 
gaudet cruorem lambere. 340 

plerique vestem linteam 
stillante tingunt sanguine, 
tutamen ut sacrum suis 
domi reservent posteris. 

tunc ipse manceps carceris 345 

et vinculorum ianitor, 
ut fert vetustas conscia, 
repente Christum credidit. 



i88 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

singing, while the hollow chamber returns an echo 
like another voice singing in emulation. Then 
tremblingly he looks within, as well as his eyes, 
planted by the door-post, can penetrate through the 
narrow slits where door and pivot join. He sees the 
bed of potsherds blooming with many a flower, and 
the martyr himself, his bonds torn away, walking 
about as he sings. The news of this marvel rings in 
the governor's ear and infuriates him. He weeps at 
his defeat and with groans of vexation turns over 
angry, resentful thoughts of his ignominy. " Take 
him out of prison," he says, " and let him be restored 
a little with beneficent applications, so that being 
revived he may furnish food for suffering anew." 

From the whole town a throng of the faithful might 
be seen gathering, making a soft bed furnished with 
supports, and wiping dry the bleeding wounds. 
One covers with kisses the double cuts made by the 
claws, another eagerly licks the red gore on the body. 
Many wet a linen garment with the drops of blood, to 
lay it up at home as a holy safeguard for their 
descendants. Then even the jailer, the door-keeper 
of the prison, as tells the old tradition of the time 
which witnessed it, suddenly believed in Christ; 

189 



PRUDENTIUS 

hie obseratis vectibus 
densae specum caliginis 350 

splendore lucis advenae 
micuisse clausum viderat. 

at vero postquam lectuli 
martyr quietem contigit, 

aeger morarum taedio 355 

et mortis incensus siti — 

si mors habenda eiusmodi est. 
quae corporali ergastulo 
mentem resolvit liberam 
et reddit auctori Deo, 360 

mentem piatam sanguine, 
mortis lavacris elutam, 
quae semet ac vitam suam 
Christo inmolandam praebuit — 

ergo ut recline mollibus 365 

reiecit aulaeis caput, 
victor relictis artubus 
caelum capessit spiritus. 

cui recta celso tramite 
reseratur ad Patrem via, 370 

quam fratre caesus inpio 
Abel beatus scanderat. 

stipant euntem candidi 
hinc inde sanctorum chori 

parique missum carcere 375 

baptista lohannes vocat. 

at Christiani nominis 
hostem coquebant inrita 
fellis venena et lividum 
cor efFerata exusserant. 380 

saevire inermem crederes 
fractis draconem dentibus. 



190 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

for while the bolts were shot he had seen the pitch- 
dark dungeon flash with the brightness of the light 
which, closed though it was, had entered into it. 

But when the martyr found rest on his couch, being 
weary at heart of the tedious delays and burning with 
desire to die, — ^if we should think it death, which sets 
the soul free from the prison of the body and restores 
it to God its creator, the soul that has been purified 
with blood and cleansed with the washing of death 
and has given itself and its life as a sacrifice to Christ, 
— as soon, then, as he has laid his head back on the 
soft coverings of the bed, his victorious spirit leaves 
the body behind and seeks the skies, and along the 
heavenly path there is opened for it the straight 
way to the Father, which the blessed Abel, when he 
was slain by his unnatural brother, ascended before. 
White-robed companies of the saints press round him 
on his way, and John the Baptist calls one who has 
been released from prison like himself. 

But as for the enemy of the Christian name, the 
poisons of his gall, having failed of their purpose, 
were tormenting him, and their fury had burned up 
his malignant heart. It was like the raging of a 
serpent disarmed by the breaking of its fangs. " He 

191 



PRUDENTIUS 

" evasit exultans," ait, 
" rebellis et palmam tulit. 

sed restat illud ultimum, 385 

inferre poenam mortuo, 
feris cadaver tradere 
canibusve carpendum dare. 

iam nunc et ossa extinxero, 
ne sit sepulcrum funeris, 390 

quod plebs gregalis excolat 
titulumque figat martyris." 

sic frendit, et corpus sacrum 
profanus (a dirum nefas !) 

nudum negato tegmine 395 

exponit inter carices. 

sed nulla dirarum famis 
aut bestiarum aut alitum 
audet tropaeum gloriae 
foedare tactu squalido. 400 

quin si qua clangens inprobe 
circumvolarat eminus, 
trucis volucris inpetu 
depulsa vertebat fugam. 

nam corvus, Heliae datus 405 

olim ciborum portitor, 
hoc munus inplet sedule 
et inremotus excubat. 

hie ex frutectis proximis 
infestus alarum sono 410 

oculosque pinnis verberans 
exegit inmanem lupum. 

quis perfidorum credere 
ausit rapacem beluam, 

tauris paratam congredi, 415 

cessisse plumis mollibus ? 



192 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

has escaped in triumph," he cries ; " refusing to 
submit, he has carried off the victory. But still the 
last resource remains, to punish him even in death, 
to deliver his body to the wild beasts or give it to the 
dogs to tear. Forthwith I shall utterly destroy even 
his bones, so that his corpse shall have no grave for 
the common herd to venerate and set on it a martyr's 
epitaph." Thus raging he impiously exposed the 
sacred body amid the sedge, — O frightful wicked- 
ness ! — all covering for its nakedness denied. But 
neither fell beast nor bird dared in its hunger to 
pollute the memorial of glorious victory with its 
unclean touch. And whenever one with ruthless 
malice flew noisily round at a distance, it was driven 
off by the attack of a fierce bird and fled away. For a 
raven, the bird once assigned to Elijah to carry his 
food, fulfilled this duty assiduously, keeping watch 
and never leaving its post. From some bushes near 
by it drove away a savage wolf, attacking it with noisy 
wings and beating its eyes with its pinions. Who 
of the infidels would make bold to believe that a 
ravenous beast which would readily engage with 
bulls gave ground before soft feathers ? It went off 

193 

VOL. II. H 



PRUDENTIUS 

ibat malignum murmurans 
levi volatu exterritus 
praedamque visam fugerat 
custodis inbellis minis. 420 

quis audienti talia, 
Datiane, tunc sensus tibi ? 
quantis gementem spiculis 
figebat occultus dolor, 

cum te perempti corporis 425 

virtute victum cerneres, 
ipsis et inpar ossibus 
vacuisque iam membris minor ? 

sed quis, tyranne pertinax, 
hunc inpotentem spiritum 430 

determinabit exitus ? 
nullusne te franget modus ? 

" nullus, nee umquam desinam. 
nam si ferina inmanitas 

mansuescit et dementia 435 

corvos voraces mitigat, 

mergam cadaver fluctibus : 
insana numquam naufragis 
ignoscit unda, et spumeum 
nescit profundum parcere. 440 

aut semper illic mobilis 
incerta per ludibria 
vagis feretur flatibus 
squamosa pascens agmina, 

aut sub fragosis rupibus 445 

scabri petrarum murices 
inter recessus scrupeos 
discissa rumpent viscera. 

ecquis virorum strenue 
cumbam peritus pellere 450 



194 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

growling spitefully, frightened away by the bird's 
nimble flight, running from the prey before its eyes 
under the menaces of an unwarlike guardian. What 
were your feelings then, Datianus, when you heard 
such news ? How sore were the piercing pricks of 
hidden pain under which you groaned, when you saw 
yourself beaten by the virtue that was in the body you 
did to death, and were no match even for the bones, 
and inferior to a frame now lifeless ? But, obstinate 
oppressor, what issue will put an end to this un- 
governed wrath ? Will no limit break you ? "None. 
I shall never give up. For if savage beasts grow 
tame and devouring ravens soft and gentle, I shall 
plunge the corpse into the sea. The raging wave 
never has mercy on the shipwrecked, the foaming 
deep knows no forbearance. Either the wandering 
winds will make it their random plaything there and 
drive it about forever on the move and feeding the 
scaly shoals, or at the foot of some rugged cliffs the 
sharp, scurfy points of rock will rend and tear his 
flesh on the stony beach of some inlet. Some man 
of you who knows how to drive a boat briskly on 
with oar and rope and canvas and can plough the 

195 



PRUDENTIUS 

remo, rudente et carbaso, 
secare qui pontum queas, 

rapias palustri e caespite 
corpus, quod intactum iacet, 
levique vectum lembulo 455 

amplum per aequor auferas ? 

sed conplicatum sparteus 
claudat cadaver culleus, 
quern fune conexus lapis 
praeceps in altum deprimat. 460 

at tu per undas emices 
rorante praepes palmula, 
donee relictum longior 
abscondat aspectus solum." 

haec iussa quidam militum, 465 

(Eumorphio nomen fuit) 
violentus, audax, barbarus, 
furore fervens adripit. 

funale textum conserit, 
suto quod inplet corpore, 470 

emensus et multum freti 
inter procellas excutit. 

o praepotens virtus Dei, 
virtus creatrix omnium, 

quae turgidum quondam mare 475 

gradiente Christo straverat, 

ut terga calcans aequoris 
siccis mearet passibus, 
plantas nee undis tingueret 
vasti viator gurgitis ! 480 

haec ipsa virtus iusserat 
rubrum salum dehiscere, 
patente dum fundo aridum 
secura plebs iter terit. 



196 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

sea, take the body from the swampy grass where it 
lies untouched, and in a swift wherry carry it away 
over the wide waters ! But let the corpse be doubled 
up and enclosed in a rope-bag with a stone tied to it 
to sink it straight into the depths. Do you shoot out 
swiftly over the waves with dripping oar-blade, till 
the more distant view hide the land you have left 
behind." 

These behests one of the soldiers lays hold of with a 
burning passion, his name Eumorphio, a wild, 
audacious, savage man. He constructs a fabric of 
rope and sews the body up in it, and after covering a 
long course out to sea pitches it out amid the storms. 
How exceeding mighty is the power of God, the 
power that created all things and that once laid the 
swelling sea while Christ walked on it, so that tread- 
ing on the surface of the waters He went dry-foot 
and did not wet his soles in the waves as He passed 
over the monstrous deep ! It was this same power 
that at an earlier time commanded the Red Sea to 
part while the people fearlessly trod a dry path over 

197 



PRUDENTIUS 

nee non et ipsa nunc iubet 485 

servire saneto eorpori 
pontum quietis lapsibus 
ad eurva pronum litora. 

saxum molaris ponderis 
ut spuma eandens innatat, 490 

tantique custos pigneris 
fiscella fertur fluetibus. 

cernunt stupentes navitae 
vectam remenso marmore 

labi retrorsum leniter 495 

aestu secundo et flamine. 

certant et ipsi concito 
pontum phaselo scindere, 
longe sed artus praevolant 
telluris ad mollem sinum ; 500 

prius relates denique 
humus quieta suscipit, 
quam pulsa summis nisibus 
carina portum tangeret. 

felix amoeni litoris 505 

secessus ille, qui sacra 
fovens harenis viscera 
vicem sepulcri praebuit, 

dum cura sanctorum pia 
deflens adornat aggerem 510 

tumuloque corpus creditum 
vitae reservat posterae ! 

sed mox subactis hostibus 
iam pace iustis reddita 

altar quietem debitam 515 

praestat beatis ossibus ; 

subiecta nam sacrario 
imamque ad aram condita 



198 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

its exposed bed. And now too it bids the sea do 
service to the holy body by gliding down with gentle 
flow towards the curving shore. The stone as heavy 
as a mill-stone floats as lightly as the white spray, 
and the net-bag which keeps the precious pledge 
rides on the waves. The boatmen in amazement see 
it carried back over the sea, floating gently back- 
wards with favouring tide and wind. They exert 
themselves to speed the boat and cleave the water, 
but the body flies far ahead of them towards the 
gentle bosom of the land ; and so the peaceful earth 
receives it back into its care before the vessel, though 
driven with all their efforts, can reach its port. 
Happy that pleasant-shored bay which cherished the 
sacred flesh in its sands and served the turn of a 
burial place, till the pious care of the saints with 
many tears provided a mounded grave and com- 
mitted the body thereto to keep it for the life to 
come ! But later, when their enemies were subdued 
and peace given back to the righteous, an altar 
ensured to the blessed bones the rest that was their 
due ; for laid under the sanctuary, buried at the foot 
of the altar, they drink in the aura of the heavenly 

199 



PRUDENTIUS 

caelestis auram muneris 

perfusa subter hauriunt. 520 

sic corpus, ast ipsum Dei 
sedes receptum continet 
cum Maccabeis fratribus 
sectoque Esaiae proximum. 

simplex sed illis contigit 525 

corona poenarum, quibus 
finem malorum praestitit 
mortis supremus exitus. 

quid tale sector ausus est ? 
truncata numquid corporis 530 

segmenta post serram feris 
obiecit aut undis dedit? 

num Maccabei martyris 
linguam tyrannus erutam 

raptamve pellem verticis 535 

avibus cruentis obtulit ? 

tu solus, o bis inclyte, 
solus bravii duplicis 
palmam tulisti, tu duas 
simul parasti laureas. 540 

in morte victor aspera, 
tum deinde post mortem pari 
victor triumpho proteris 
solo latronem corpore. 

adesto nunc et percipe 545 

voces precantum supplices, 
nostri reatus efficax 
orator ad thronum Patris. 

per te, per ilium carcerem, 
honoris augmentum tui, 550 

per vincla, flammas, ungulas, 
per carceralem stipitem, 



200 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, V 

offering, which is shed on them there below. Thus 
the body ; but the martyr himself was received into 
the dwelling-place of God, which holds him in com- 
pany with the Maccabean brothers <* and beside 
Esaias who was cut asunder.^ 

Yet these won but a single crown for their suffer- 
ings, since death brought their sorrows to a close 
and ended all. Did he who cut Esaias asunder dare 
any deed like this ? Did he throw the sections of 
the body to the wild beasts after they were cut off 
with the saw, or give them to the waves ? Did the 
oppressor offer the Maccabean martyr's tongue to 
bloodthirsty birds after it was plucked out, or the 
skin of the head when it was torn off? Thou alone, 
O twice renowned, thou alone hast won the glory of a 
double prize, thou hast gained two laurels together. 
Victorious in a cruel death, thou dost then after 
death in like triumph trample victoriously on the 
devil merely with thy body. Be with us now and 
give ear to the voice of our entreaty as we pray, and 
plead effectually for our sins before the Father's 
throne. By thyself, by that prison which brought 
enlargement of thy honour, by the bonds and flames 
and claws, by the stocks in the prison, by the broken 

" C/. II Maccabees vii. 

' Jerome [Commentary on Isaiah, Ivii, 1-2) says there was a 
definite Jewish tradition that Isaiah was sawn asunder with a 
wooden saw in the persecution of Manasseh (II Kings xxi, 16). 
Cf. the apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah, v, 11. The tradition 
is perhaps aUuded to in Hebrews xi, 37. 

201 



PRUDENTIUS 

per fragmen illud testeum, 
quo parta crevit gloria, 

et quern trementes poster! 555 

exosculamur lectulum, 

miserere nostrarum precum, 
placatus ut Christus suis 
inclinet aurem prosperam 
noxas nee omnes inputet. 560 

si rite sollemnem diem 
veneramur ore et pectore, 
si sub tuorum gaudio 
vestigiorum sternimur, 

paulisper hue inlabere, 565 

Christi favor em deferens, 
sensus gravati ut sentiant 
levamen indulgentiae. 

sic nulla iam restet mora, 
quin excitatam nobilis 570 

carnem resumat spiritus 
virtute perfunctam pari, 

ut, quae laborum particeps 
commune discrimen tulit, 

sit et coheres gloriae 575 

cunctis in aevum saeculis. 



VI 

HVMNUS IN HONOREM BeATISSIMORUM MaRTYRUM 

Fructuosi Episcopi Ecclesiae Tarraconensis, 
ET AuGURii et Eulogii Diaconorum. 



Felix Tarraco, Fructuose, vestris 
attollit caput ignibus coruscum 
Levitis geminis procul relucens. 



202 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

pots which made greater still the glory thou hadst 
gained, and the bed which we of later times kiss 
fondly in awe, have pity on our prayers, so that 
Christ being propitiated may incline a favourable 
ear to his people and not lay all our sins to our charge. 
If we duly reverence the day of thy festival with lips 
and heart, if we bow down before thy relics rejoicing 
in them, come down to us here for a little while 
bringing the favour of Christ, that our burdened 
souls may feel the relief of forgiveness. So may 
there remain no long time ere thy noble spirit put on 
again in resurrection the body which did deeds as 
valorous as its own, that the body which shared the 
struggles and bore the hazard in common may with it 
inherit the glory too through all ages for ever and 



VI 

A Hymn in Honoue of the Most Blessed Martyrs 
Fructuosus, Bishop of the Church of Tarraco, and 

AUGURIUS AND EuLOGIUS, DeACONS.'* 

Happy Tarraco, Fructuosus, lifts a head that 

flashes with the fires of you three. She shines afar in 

virtue of her two deacons. God surely looks with 

" They suffered death by fire in 259. 

203 



PRUDENTIUS 

Hispanos Deus aspicit benignus, 
arcem quandoquidem potens Hiberam 5 

trino martyre Trinitas coronat. 

ardens Augurius capessit aethram, 
nee non Eulogius simul supernum ^ 
Christi lucidus ad sedile tendit. 

dux et praevius et magister illis 10 

ad tantum decus ex episcopal! 
clarus nomine Fructuosus ibat, 

accitus quia praesidis repente 
iussu venerat ad forum sacerdos 
Levitis comitantibus duobus. 15 

Inde ad carceream viros catenam 
pastus sanguine carnifex trahebat ; 
gaudet currere Fructuosus ultro. 

ac, ne quis socios timor feriret, 
praeceptor vehemens eundo firmat 20 

incenditque fidem calore Christi. 

" mecum state, viri. vocat cruentus 
ad poenam coluber Dei ministros ; 
ne mors terreat ; est parata palma. 

career Christicolis gradus coronae est, 25 

career provehit ad superna caeli, 
career conciliat Deum beatis." 

his dictis adeunt specum reorum, 
exercent ibi mysticum lavacrum, 
et purgamen aquae stupent tenebrae. 30 

sex hie continuis latent diebus, 
tandem stant trucis ad tribunal hostis : 
fratres tergeminos tremunt catastae. 

iudex Aemilianus inminebat 
atrox, turbidus, insolens, profanus ; 35 

aras daemonicas coli iubebat. 

" tu, qui doctor," ait, " seris novellum 



204 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

kindness on the Spaniards, since the mighty Trinity 
crowns an Iberian city with three martyrs. In 
flames Augurius seeks the skies, and Eulogius with 
him in a blaze of light takes his course for the seat of 
Christ on high. Their leader, guide, and teacher, 
Fructuosus passed to this great honour in the emin- 
ence of the rank of bishop. For being summoned at 
short notice by the governor's order the priest had 
come to the court with the two deacons attending 
him. From there the blood-fed executioner was 
dragging them to bondage in prison, Fructuosus 
joyfully making haste of his own free will ; and lest 
any fear should strike his companions, their instructor 
powerfully encouraged them as they went, kindling 
their faith from the burning love of Christ : " Stand 
firm with me like the men you are. The bloody 
serpent is summoning God's servants to suffer. Be 
not afraid of death. The prize awaits you. For 
the worshippers of Christ the prison is a step towards 
the crown ; it advances them to the heavenly heights ; 
it wins for them God's favour and blessing." At 
these words they reached the prisoners' cell, and 
there they performed the mystic rite of baptism * 
and the darkness was amazed at the cleansing power 
of water. Six days together they remained confined 
here, and then at last stood before the judgment-seat 
of their cruel enemy, and the racks trembled before 
the three brethren. Their judge Aemilianus, a 
fierce, violent, arrogant, unholy man, in a menacing 
attitude ordered them to worship at the altars of 
devils. " You," he said, " who are the teacher and 

" In the " Acta " of Fructuosus it is stated that in the 
prison he baptised a certain Rogatianus. 

^ superbum BVN and some other MSS. {A is not available), 

205 



PRUDENTIUS 

commenti genus, ut leves puellae 
lucos destituant, lovem relinquant, 

damnes, si sapias, anile dogma. 40 

iussum est Caesaris ore Gallieni, 
quod princeps colit, ut colamus omnes." 

haec fanti placidus refert sacerdos : 
" aeternum colo principem dierum, 
factorem dominumque Gallieni, 45 

et Christum Patre prosatum perenni, 
cuius sum famulus gregisque pastor." 
subridens ait ille : " iam fuisti." 

nee difFert furor aut refrenat iram, 
saevis destinat ignibus cremandos. 50 

exultant prohibentque flere vulgum. 

quosdam de populo videt sacerdos 
libandum sibi poculum ofFerentes : 
" ieiunamus," ait ; " recuso potum : 

nondum nona diem resignat hora ; 55 

numquam conviolabo ius dicatum, 
nee mors ipsa meum sacrum resolvet. 

sic Christus sitiens crucis sub hora 
oblatum sibi poculum recusans 
nee libare volens sitim peregit." 60 

intrant interea locum rotunda 
conclusum cavea, madens ferarum 
multo sanguine quem furor frequentat, 

cum spectacula perstrepunt cruenta 
ac vilis gladiator ense duro 65 

percussus cadit et fremit voluptas. 

hie flammante pyra niger minister 



" Son of the emperor Valerian and colleague with him as 
Augustus from 253, being in charge of the West from 256 or 
257. 

2o6 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

propagator of this modern falsehood, seeking to make 
light-minded girls desert the sacred groves and 
abandon Jupiter, if you are sensible you will con- 
demn your old wives' teaching. It is commanded by 
the mouth of Caesar Gallienus " that we shall all 
worship what the sovereign worships." To these 
words the priest quietly answers : "I worship the 
everlasting sovereign of days, who is the creator and 
Lord of Gallienus, and Christ the son of the eternal 
Father, whose servant I am and the shepherd of his 
flock." But the judge says with a smile : " You are 
so no longer." Too mad with passion to defer or 
check his wrath, he appoints that they shall be burned 
with cruel fire. They, rejoicing, bid the throng not 
weep. The priest, seeing some of the people offer 
him a cup to sip, says : " We are fasting ; I will not 
drink ; not yet does the ninth hour ^ break the seal 
of the day ; never shall I do violence to the sacred 
law, nor shall death itself relax my observance. 
Thus did Christ, though He thirsted, in the hour of 
crucifixion reject the cup that was offered to Him, 
and refusing to drink of it He carried on his thirst to 
the end." By this time they were entering a place 
enclosed by tiers of seats in a circle," where frenzied 
crowds attend and are drunk with much blood of 
wild beasts, when the din rises from the bloody 
shows, and as the gladiator, whose life is held cheap, 
falls under the stroke of the stark sword there is a 
roar of delight. Here a black officer, bidden to make 
ready the fiery torture on a blazing pyre, had laid 

* The weekly fast ended at the ninth hour (roughly 3 p.m.). 
Cf. Cath. viii, 9 ff. 
" The amphitheatre. 

207 



PRUDENTIUS 

ardens supplicium parare iussus 
construxit facibus rogum supremis, 

qui, dum corpora concremanda ^ solvit, 70 

ferventes animas amore lucis 
fracto carceris expediret antro. 

certant officiis pii sodales : 
plantis calciamenta dissolutis 
pronus detrahere studebat unus, 75 

sed sanctus vetat ora Fructuosus 
inclinata premi : " facessite," inquit, 
" nee nostram gravet obsequella mortem. 

atquin ipse meos pedes resolvam, 
ne vestigia praepedita vinclis 80 

tardis gressibus inruant in ignem. 

cur lamenta rigant genas madentes ? 
cur vestri memor ut fiam rogatis ? 
cunctis pro populis rogabo Christum." 

vix haec ediderat, relaxat ipse 85 

indumenta pedum, velut Moyses 
quondam fecerat ad rubum propinquans. 

non calcare sacram cremationem 
aut adstare Deo prius licebat 
quam vestigia pura figerentur. 90 

stabat calce mera : resultat ecce 
caelo spiritus et serit loquellam, 
quae cunctos tremefecit audientes : 

" non est, credite, poena quam videtis, 
quae puncto tenui citata transit, 95 

nee vitam rapit ilia, sed reformat. 

felices animae, quibus per ignem 
celsa scandere contigit Tonantis, 
quas olim fugiet perennis ignis." 

haec inter rapidis focos crepantes 100 

intrant passibus et minantur ipsis 

208 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

the topmost brands on the pile which, by destroying 
the bodies condemned to the flames, was to break 
open the prison cell and set free from it the souls 
which were burning with love of the light. Devoted 
friends vied with each other in services. One, 
stooping low, was anxiously seeking to undo the 
ties of Fructuosus' feet and draw off his shoes, 
but the holy man forbade him to bow down his head. 
Leave us alone," he said ; " do not make our death 
heavier to bear with your attentions. Nay, I shall 
myself unloose my feet so that my steps may not be 
hampered with ties and slow my pace in pressing into 
the fire. Why do lamentations wet your cheeks with 
streaming tears ? Why do you ask me to remember 
you ? I shall make request of Christ for all the world." 
The words were hardly spoken when he unfastened 
the shoes on his feet, just as Moses once did when he 
was approaching the bush, for he was not permitted 
to tread on the sacred fire or stand by God till the 
footprints he planted were undefiled. As he stood 
barefooted, suddenly the voice of a spirit rang from 
heaven uttering speech which made all tremble as 
they heard it: "Be assured this is no torment that 
you see ; it passes quickly in a brief moment and does 
not take life away, but transforms it. Happy the 
souls whose lot it is to mount through fire to the 
high place of the Thunderer, for one day the ever- 
lasting fire will flee from them." 

Meanwhile with quick steps they enter the roaring 

^ concremata BVN and some other MSS. {A is not 
available). 

209 



PRUDENTIUS 

flammarum trepidantibus caminis. 

nexus denique, qui manus retrorsus 
in tergum revocaverant revinctas, 
intacta cute decidunt adusti. 105 

non ausa est cohibere poena palmas 
in morem crucis ad Patrem levandas ; 
solvit bracchia, quae Deum precentur. 

priscorum specimen trium putares, 
quos olim Babylonicum per ignem 110 

cantantes stupuit tremens tyrannus. 

illis sed pia flamma tunc pepercit 
nondum tempore passionis apto, 
nee mortis decus inchoante Christo. 

hos cum defugeret vapor us ardor, 115 

Grant ut celer ignis advolaret 
et finem daret anxiis periclis. 

exorata suos obire tandem 
maiestas famulos iubet caducis 
missos corporibus sibique reddi. 120 

vidit praesidis ex domo satelles 
caelum martyribus patere apertum 
insignesque viros per astra ferri. 

quin et filiolae monens erili 
ostendit sceleris notam paterni, 125 

caelo vivere quos forum peremit. 

haec turn virginitas palam videre 
per sudum meruit parente caeco, 
ut crimen domini domus timeret. 

tum de corporibus sacris favillae 130 

et perfusa mero leguntur ossa, 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

fire, overawing even the flaming furnace so that 
it quivers before them. Thereupon the fastenings 
which kept their hands pulled back and tied behind 
them are burned and fall off, but the skin is unhurt. 
The torture dared not constrain the hands they pur- 
posed to lift up to the Father after the fashion of the 
cross ; it set their arms free to pray to God. It 
was like the sight of the three in olden times 
whom the trembling despot was amazed to hear 
singing in the midst of the fire at Babylon." But 
those at that time the pious flame spared because the 
fit time for martyrdom was not yet and Christ was 
not yet inaugurating glorious death ; while these, 
when the burning heat kept from them, prayed that 
the fire might rush swiftly upon them and put an end 
to their tormenting perils, and God's majesty being 
prevailed upon commanded that his servants die at 
last, freed from their mortal bodies, and be restored 
to Him. An attendant belonging to the governor's 
household saw the heavens opened to receive the 
martyrs, and the illustrious three passing through 
the stars ; yes, and he called the attention of his 
master's young daughter, showing her the token of 
her father's sin, that the men whom his court put to 
death were alive in heaven. That day her girlhood 
was deemed worthy to see these things plainly in the 
clear air, though her father was blind, so that the 
household feared the guilt of the master of the 
house. 

Then the glowing ashes and the bones of the sacred 
bodies were sprinkled with wine ^ and gathered up, 

» Cf. Apoth. 128-154. 

* This was an ancient pagan custom after the cremation of 
the dead. Cf. Iliad, XXIII, 236 ff., Aeneid, VI, 226-227. 



PRUDENTIUS 

quae raptim sibi quisque vindicabat. 

fratrum tantus amor domum referre 
sanctorum cinerum dicata dona 
aut gestare sinu fidele pignus. 135 

sed ne reliquias resuscitandas 
et mox cum domino simul futuras 
discretis loca dividant sepulcris, 

cernuntur niveis stolis amicti, 
mandant restitui cavoque claudi 140 

mixtim marmore pulverem sacrandum. 

o triplex honor, o triforme culmen, 
quo nostrae caput excitatur urbis, 
cunctis urbibus eminens Hiberis ! 

exultare tribus libet patronis, 145 

quorum praesidio fovemur omnes 
terrarum populi Pyrenearum. 

circumstet chorus ex utroque sexu ; 
heros, virgo, puer, senex, anulla, 
vestrum psallite rite Fructuosum. 150 

laudans Augurium resultet hymnus 
mixtis Eulogium modis coaequans ; 
reddamus paribus pares camenas. 

hinc aurata sonent in arce tecta, 
blandum litoris extet inde murmur, 155 

et carmen freta feriata pangant. 

olim tempus erit ruente mundo, 
cum te, Tarraco, Fructuosus acri 
solvet supplicio tegens ab igni. 

fors dignabitur et meis medellam 160 

tormentis dare prosperante Christo, 
dulces hendecasyllabos revolvens. 



212 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VI 

each man eagerly taking for himself; such was the 
desire of the brethren to take home consecrated 
gifts of the holy ashes, or to carry them in their 
bosoms as a trusty pledge. But lest remains which 
must one day be raised up again and then be together 
with the Lord should be sundered in separate burial- 
places at different spots, the three appeared, clad in 
snow-white robes, and enjoined that the hallowed 
dust be given back and enclosed together in a marble 
chamber. 

O. threefold honour, triple eminence, whereby our 
city's head is lifted up, towering over all the cities of 
Spain! We will rejoice in our three patrons, under 
whose protection all we peoples of the Pyrenean 
lands are cherished. Let a choir of either sex stand 
round about ; grown men, girls and boys, old men and 
women, sing as befits you of your own Fructuosus. 
Let the hymn ring out in praise of Augurius and in 
mingled strains match Eulogius with him ; let us 
render song equally to the equal. Here in the city 
let the gilded roofs re-echo, there a winning sound 
arise from the shore, and the seas keep holiday and 
make song. One day will come a time when in the 
dissolution of the world Fructuosus will free thee, 
Tarraco, from sore distresses, covering thee from 
fire; and perchance under Christ's favour he will 
deign to give relief to my torments too, as he recalls 
my sweet hendecasyllables.'* 

" I.e. lines of eleven syllables, the poem being written in the 
Phalaecian hendecasyllabic metre. 



213 



PRUDENTIUS 



VII 



Hymnus in Honorem QuiRiNi Martyris, 
Episcopi Ecclesiae Siscianae. 

Insignem meriti virum 

Quirinum, placitum Deo, 

urbis moenia Sisciae 

concessum sibi martyrem 

conplexu patrio fovent. 5 

hie sub Galerio duce, 
qui tune lllyrieos sinus 
urgebat dieionibus, 
fertur eatholicam fidem 
inlustrasse per exitum. 10 

non ilium gladii rigor, 
non ineendia, non ferae 
crudeli interitu necant, 
sed lymphis fluvialibus 
gurges, dum rapit, abluit. 15 

nil refert vitreo aequore 
an de flumine sanguinis 
tinguat passio martyrem ; 
aeque gloria provenit 
fluctu quolibet uvida. 20 

summo pontis ab ardui 
sanetae plebis episcopus 
in praeceps fluvio datur 
suspensum laqueo gerens 
ingentis lapidem molae. " 25 

deiectum plaeidissimo 
amnis vertice suscipit 
nee mergi patitur sibi, 
miris vasta natatibus 



214 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VII 

VII 

A Hymn in Honour of Quirinus, Martyr 
AND Bishop of the Church of Siscia.'* 

The walls of Siscia's town in fatherly embrace 
cherish Quirinus, a man of illustrious merit and 
pleasing to God, a martyr granted to them. He, 
under the rule of Galerius,^ whose dominion was then 
heavy on Illyricum's winding shore, by his death 
shed lustre, as they tell, on the Catholic faith. No 
stark sword nor fire nor wild beasts put him to a cruel 
death, but in the waters of a river the flood washed 
him clean as it carried him away. It is no matter 
whether a martyr's passion bathe him in glassy water 
or with a river of blood ; glory springs equally what- 
ever the stream that wets it. From the top of a high 
bridge the bishop of a pious people was cast down 
straight into the flood, carrying a great mill-stone 
hung by a rope about his neck. But when he was 
hurled down the river received him into its care in the 
calmest of pools, and did not suffer him to sink in it, 
but held up the stone's enormous weight float- 

" Now Sziszek, in Yugoslavia. 

* Caesar from 293 to 305 under Diocletian and Maximian, 
with charge of the Danubian provinces ; afterwards Augustus. 
He was a ruthless foe to the Christians, and the effort to 
suppress them seems to have been due to his influence with 
Diocletian. 

215 



PRUDENTIUS 

saxi pondera sustinens. 30 

spectant eminus e solo 
doctorem pavidi greges ; 
nam Christi populus frequens 
riparum sinuamina 
stipato agmine saepserat. 35 

sed Quirinus, ut eminens 
OS circumtulit, heu, suos 
exemplo trepidos videt, 
nil ipse proprii memor 
inter stagna periculi. 40 

confirmat pia pectora, 
verbis mitificis rogans 
ne quern talia terreant, 
neu constans titubet fides 
aut poenam putet emori. 45 

dicentem fluitantibus 
amnis terga vehunt vadis, 
nee substrata profunditas 
saxoque et laqueo et viro 
audet sponte dehiscere. 50 

sensit martyr episcopus 
iam partam sibi praeripi 
palmam mortis et exitus, 
ascensumque negarier 
aeterni ad solium Patris. 55 

" lesu cunctipotens," ait, 
" haudquaquam tibi gloria 
haec est insolita aut nova, 
calcare fremitum maris 
prona et flumina sistere. 60 

scimus discipulum Petrum, 
cum vestigia tingueret 
mortali trepidus pede, 



2l6 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VII 

ing miraculously. Away on the ground anxious 
crowds were watching their teacher, for Christ's 
people in great numbers had lined the winding banks 
with a close-packed throng. But Quirinus, his head 
above water, turning to look round, regrets to see his 
flock in alarm at what is done to him, while he him- 
self has no thought of his own peril amid the flood. 
He strengthens their loyal hearts, asking them in 
gentle words not to let such things affright any of 
them, nor their firm faith waver or think it pain to 
die. As he speaks the river with its flowing stream 
carries him on its surface, and the depths below do 
not dare to open of themselves to receive stone and 
noose and man. 

The martyr bishop felt he was being robbed of the 
prize of death and departure he had won, and denied 
ascent to the throne of the everlasting Father. 
" Almighty Jesus," he said, " it is not for Thee any 
strange or new glory to tread the sounding sea and 
stay running streams. We know that thy disciple 
Peter, when his steps were dipping in the water 
because, having but human feet, he was afraid, by 



217 



PRUDENTIUS 

dextrae subsidio tuae 

subiecisse salum solo. 65 

lordanem quoque novimus 
tortis verticibus vagum, 
dum fertur rapido impetu, 
ad fontem refluis retro 
confugisse meatibus. 70 

haec miracula sunt tuae 
virtutis, Domine, ut modo 
suspendar leve praenatans 
summo gurgite fluminis, 
cum collo scopulum traham. 75 

iam plenus titulus tui est 
et vis prodita nominis, 
quam gentilis hebet stupor : 
absolvas, precor, optime, 
huius nunc animae moras. 80 

quid possis probat amnicus, 
qui vectat silicem, liquor, 
hoc iam quod super est cedo, 
quo nil est pretiosius 
pro te, Christe Deus, mori." 85 

orantem simul halitus 
et vox deserit et calor ; 
scandit spiritus ardua, 
fit pondus grave saxeum, 
corpus suscipiunt aquae. 

VIII 

De Loco IN QUO Martyres passi sunt, nunc Bap- 

TISTERIUM EST CaLAGURRI. 

Electus Christo locus est, ubi corda probata 
provehat ad caelum sanguine, purget aqua. 

2l8 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, VIII 

the help of thy right hand set his sole on top of the 
sea ; and we know too that Jordan, with its twisting 
rambling stream, while rushing on in swift current 
turned its course about and fled back towards its 
source." This is the wonderful work of thy power, 
O Lord, that now I am held up, floating lightly on the 
surface of the water of the river, though by my neck I 
drag a rock. Now is the honour of thy name fulfilled 
and its power made manifest, before which the 
heathen in their dulness stand amazed. Bring now 
to an end, I pray, good Christ, the things that are 
hindering this soul of mine. Thy power is proved by 
the water of the river, which is carrying a stone. 
Grant me now this that remains, the most precious 
gift of all, to die for Thee, O God Christ." As he 
prays, breath and voice and warmth of life together 
leave him ; his spirit mounts on high, the weight of 
the stone grows heavy, and the waters receive his 
body. 

VIII 

On a Spot where Martyrs suffered at 
Calagurris, now a Baptistery. 

This is a spot chosen of Christ for raising tried 

souls to heaven through blood, and for cleansing them 

" Cf. Joshua, ill, 13 ff. 

219 



PRUDENTIUS 

hie duo purpureum, Domini pro nomine caesi, 

martyrium pulchra morte tulere viri. 
liic etiam liquido fluit indulgentia fonte 5 

ac veteres maculas diluit amne novo, 
qui cupit aeternum caeli conscendere regnum, 

hue veniat sitiens, eece parata via est. 
ante eoronati seandebant ardua testes 

atria, nunc lotae celsa petunt animae. 10 

Spiritus aeterno ^ solitus descendere lapsu, 

ut dederat palmam, sic tribuit veniam. 
haurit terra sacros aut fonte aut sanguine rores 

exundatque suo iugiter uda Deo. 
ipse loci est dominus laterum cui vulnere utroque 15 

hinc cruor effusus fluxit et inde latex, 
ibitis hinc, ut quisque potest, per vulnera Christi 

evectus gladiis alter et alter aquis. 



IX 

Passio Sancti Cassiani Forocorneliensis. 

Sylla Forum statuit Cornelius ; hoc Itali urbem 

vocant ab ipso conditoris nomine, 
hie mihi, cum peterem te, rerum maxima Roma, 

spes est oborta prosperum Christum fore, 
stratus humi tumulo advolvebar, quem sacer ornat 5 

martyr dicato Cassianus corpore. 

^ So Bergman's MSS. (except that ABU are toanting for 
this poem). Dressel and 8om£. earlier editors read aethereo or 
aetherio from certain other MSS. 

" Emeterius and Chelidonius. Cf. I. 

220 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IX 

with water. Here two heroes * that were slain for the 
Lord's name won scarlet martyrdom by their noble 
death, and here too mercy flows in the limpid fount 
and washes away old stains in its new stream. Whoso 
desires to ascend to the everlasting kingdom of the 
heavens, let him come here in his thirst, and he will 
find the way is made ready. Formerly crowned 
witnesses went up to the courts on high, now cleansed 
souls seek the heights. The Spirit who is wont to 
come down unendingly now offers pardon, as once 
He gave the palm of victory. The earth drinks in 
sacred drops of water or of blood and is ever wet and 
streaming to the glory of her God. The Lord of 
the place is He from whose two wounded sides 
flowed here discharge of blood, there of water. 
When you pass from here you will have been raised 
up through Christ's wounds, each as he is able, one 
by the sword, another by water. 



IX 

The Passion of St Cassian of Forum Cornelii.* 

Cornelius Sulla « established a Forum, and so 
the Italians call the town, after its founder's name. 
Here when I was journeying towards thee, Rome, 
the world's capital, there sprang up in my heart a 
hope of Christ's favour. I was bowed to the ground 
before the tomb which the holy martyr Cassian 

' In north Italy, now Imola. The date of Cassian's martyr- 
dom is not known. 

" The dictator. Forum in this usage indicates a Commune 
founded by a Roman magistrate, usually on one of the great 
military roads, in this case the Via Aemiha. 



PRUDENTIUS 

dum lacrimans mecum reputo mea vulnera et omnes 

vitae labores ac dolorum acumina, 
erexi ad caelum faciem, stetit obvia contra 

fucis colorum picta imago martyris 10 

plagas mille gerens, totos lacerata per artus, 

ruptam minutis praeferens punctis cutem. 
innumeri circum pueri, miserabile visu, 

confossa parvis membra figebant stilis, 
unde pugillares soliti percurrere ceras 15 

scholare murmur adnotantes scripserant. 
aedituus consultus ait : " quod prospicis, hospes, 

non est inanis aut anilis fabula ; 
historiam pictura refert, quae tradita libris 

veram vetusti temporis monstrat fidem. 20 

praefuerat studiis puerilibus et grege multo 

saeptus magister litterarum sederat, 
verba notis brevibus conprendere cuncta peritus, 

raptimque punctis dicta praepetibus sequi. 
aspera nonnumquam praecepta et tristia visa 25 

inpube vulgus moverant ira et metu. 
doctor amarus enim discenti semper ephebo, 

nee dulcis ulli disciplina infantiae est. 
ecce fidem quatiens tempestas saeva premebat 

plebem dicatam Christianae gloriae. 30 

extrahitur coetu e medio moderator alumni 

gregis, quod aris supplicare spreverat. 
poenarum artifici quaerenti quod genus artis 

vir nosset alto tam rebellis spiritu, 
respondent : ' agmen tenerum ac puerile gubernat, 35 



" The stilus was a metal instrument adapted for writing 
on tablets of box -wood covered with wax. It was pointed at 
one end, while the other was flattened for smoothing out the 
wax and so erasing what had been written. C/. hnes 51-54. 

222 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IX 

honours with his consecrated body ; and while in 
tears I was thinking of my sins and all my life's 
distresses and stinging pains, I lifted my face towards 
heaven, and there stood confronting me a picture of 
the martyr painted in colours, bearing a thousand 
wounds, all his parts torn, and showing his skin 
broken with tiny pricks. Countless boys round 
about (a pitiful sight !) were stabbing and piercing 
his body with the little styles " with which they used 
to run over their wax tablets, writing down the droning 
lesson in school. I appealed to the verger and he 
said : " What you are looking at, stranger, is no vain 
old wife's tale. The picture tells the story of what 
happened ; it is recorded in books and displays the 
honest assurance of the olden time. He had been 
in charge of a school for boys and sat as a teacher of 
reading and writing with a great throng round him, 
and he was skilled in putting every word in short 
signs and following speech quickly with swift pricks 
on the wax.^ But at times the young mob, feeling 
his teaching harsh and stern, were moved with anger 
and fear, for the teacher is ever distasteful to the 
youthful learner and childhood never takes kindly to 
training. Noav there came a cruel tempest battering 
the faith and pressing hard on the people devoted 
to the Christian glory. The governor of the flock of 
pupils was dragged from the midst of his class because 
he had scornfully refused to worship at the altars, 
and when the contriver of punishments asked of what 
profession this man of such high and unruly spirit 
was, they answered : ' He teaches a company of 
young children, giving them their first lessons in 

* Shorthand in one form or another had been used at Rome 
since the time of Cicero. 

223 



PRUDENTIUS 

fictis notare verba signis inbuens.' 
' ducite,' conclamat, ' captivum ducite, et ultro 

donetur ipsis verberator parvulis. 
ut libet inludant, lacerent inpune manusque 

tinguant magistri feriatas sanguine. 40 

ludum discipulis volupe est ut praebeat ipse 

doctor severus quos nimis coercuit.' 
vincitur post terga manus spoliatus amictu, 

adest acutis agmen armatum stilis. 
quantum quisque odii tacita conceperat ira, 45 

effundit ardens felle tandem libero. 
coniciunt alii fragiles inque ora tabellas 

franguntj relisa fronte lignum dissilit, 
buxa crepant cerata genis inpacta eruentis 

rubetque ab ictu curta et umens pagina. 50 

inde alii stimulos et acumina ferrea vibrant, 

qua parte aratis cera sulcis scribitur, 
et qua secti apices abolentur et aequoris hirti 

rursus nitescens innovatur area, 
hinc foditur Christi confessor et inde secatur ; 55 

pars viscus intrat molle, pars scindit cutem. 
omnia membra manus pariter fixere ducentae, 

totidemque guttae vulnerum stillant simul. 
maior tortor erat qui summa pupugerat infans, 

quam qui profunda perforarat viscera ; 60 

ille, levis quoniam percussor morte negata 

saevire solis scit dolorum spiculis, 
hie, quanto interius vitalia condita pulsat, 

224 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IX 

writing down words with signs invented for the 
purpose.' ' Take him away,' he cried, ' take him 
away a prisoner, and make the children a present of 
the man who used to flog them. Let them make sport 
of him as they please, give them leave to mangle 
him at will, let them give their hands a holiday and 
dip them in their master's blood. It is a pleasant 
thought that the strict teacher should himself furnish 
sport to the pupils he has too much held down.' 

" So he is stripped of his garments and his hands 
are tied behind his back, and all the band are there, 
armed with their sharp styles. All the hatred long 
conceived in silent resentment they each vent now, 
burning with gall that has at last found freedom. 
Some throw their brittle tablets and break them 
against his face, the wood flying in fragments when 
it strikes his brow, the wax-covered box-wood 
splitting with a loud crack as it is dashed on his 
blood-stained cheeks, the broken slab wet and red 
from the blow. Others again launch at him the sharp 
iron pricks, the end with which by scratching strokes 
the wax is written upon, and the end with which the 
letters that have been cut are rubbed out and the 
roughened surface once more made into a smooth, 
glossy space. With the one the confessor of Christ is 
stabbed, with the other he is cut ; the one end enters 
the soft flesh, the other splits the skin. Two hundred 
hands together have pierced him all over his body, and 
from all these wounds at once the blood is dripping. 
A greater torturer was the child who only pricked the 
surface than he who bored deep into the flesh ; for the 
light hitter who will not wound to the death has the 
skill to be cruel with only the piercing pains, but the 
other, the farther he strikes into the hidden vitals, 

225 

VOL. II. I 



PRUDENTIUS 

plus dat medellae dum necem prope applicat. 
' este, precor, fortes, et vincite viribus annos ; 65 

quod defit aevo, suppleat crudelitas.' 
sed male conatus tener infirmusque laborat ; 

tormenta crescunt dum fatiscit carnifex. 
' quid gemis ? ' exclamat quidam ; ' tute ipse magister 

istud dedisti ferrum et armasti manus. 70 

reddimus ecce tibi tam milia multa notarum, 

quam stando, flendo te docente excepimus. 
non potes irasci quod scribimus ; ipse iubebas 

numquami quietum dextera ut ferret stilum. 
non petimus totiens te praeceptore negatas, 75 

avare doctor, iam scholarum ferias. 
pangere puncta libet sulcisque intexere sulcos, 

flexas catenis inpedire virgulas. 
emendes licet inspectos longo ordine versus, 

mendosa forte si quid erravit manus. 80 

exerce imperium : ius est tibi plectere culpam, 

si quis tuorum te notavit segnius.' 
talia ludebant pueri per membra magistri, 

nee longa fessum poena solvebat virum. 
tandem luctantis miseratus ab aethere Christus 85 

iubet resolvi pectoris ligamina, 
difficilesque moras animae ac retinacula vitae 

relaxat, artas et latebras expedit. 
sanguis ab interno venarum fonte patentes 

vias secutus deserit praecordia, 90 

totque foraminibus penetrati corporis exit . 

fibrarum anhelans ille vitalis calor. 
haec sunt, quae liquidis expressa coloribus, hospes, 

226 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, IX 

gives more relief by bringing death near. ' Be stout, 
I beg,' he cries, ' and outdo your years with your 
strength. What you lack in age let a savage spirit 
make up.' But the young boys from lack of vigour 
fail in their efforts and begin to be fatigued; the 
torments worsen while the tormentors grow faint. 
' Why do you complain ? ' calls one ; ' you yourself as 
our teacher gave us this iron and put the weapon in 
our hands. You see we are giving you back all the 
thousands of characters which as we stood in tears we 
took down from your teaching. You cannot be angry 
with us for writing ; it was you who bade us never let 
our hand carry an idle style. We are no longer ask- 
ing for what was so often refused when we were under 
your instruction, you stingy teacher, — a holiday from 
school. We like making pricks, twining scratch with 
scratch and linking curved strokes together. You 
may examine and correct our lines in long array, 
in case an erring hand has made any mistake. Use 
your authority; you have power to punish a fault, 
if any of your pupils has written carelessly on you.' 
Such sport the boys had on their master's body, and 
yet the long-drawn suffering was not releasing him 
from his weariness. At length Christ, taking pity 
from heaven on his struggles, commands that the 
bands be loosened from his soul, undoes the irksome 
hindrances that detain his spirit and hold his life, 
and opens out its confined seat. The blood follows 
the open ways from its source in the veins within 
and leaves the heart, and through the many holes 
pierced in the body the pulsing warmth of life in the 
flesh departs. 

" This, stranger, is the story you wonder to see 
represented in liquid colours, this is the glory of 

227 



PRUDENTIUS 

miraris, ista est Cassiani gloria, 
suggere si quod habes iustum vel amabile votum, 95 

spes si qua tibi est, si quid intus aestuas. 
audit, crede, preces martyr prosperrimus omnes, 

ratasque reddit quas videt probabiles." 
pareo, conplector tumulum, lacrimas quoque fundo, 

altar tepescit ore, saxum pectore. 100 

tunc arcana mei percenseo cuncta laboris, 

tunc quod petebam, quod timebam murmuro, 
et post terga domum dubia sub sorte relictam 

et spem futuri forte nutantem boni. 
audior, urbem adeo, dextris successibus utor : 105 

domum reverter, Cassianum praedico. 



X 

Sancti Romani Martyris contra Gentiles 

DlCTA.^ 

Romane, Christi fortis adsertor Dei, 

elinguis oris organum fautor move, 

largire comptum carmen infantissimo, 

fac ut tuarum mira laudum concinam, 

nam scis et ipse posse mutos eloqui. 5 

plectrum palati et faucium saevus tibi 
tortor revulsit, nee tamen silentium 
indixit ori quo fatebaris Deum. 
vox veritatis testis extingui nequit, 

^ This is the title as in B {1th century). A is not available. 
The poem, it seems probable, was originally a separate publication . 
See Bergman's Prolegomena p. xiii. 

228 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

Cassian. Declare now any upright and worthy 
wish you have, any hope, any desire that burns in 
your heart. The martyr, you may be sure, hears with 
all favour every prayer, and fulfils those that he finds 
acceptable." 

I obeyed, clasping the tomb and shedding tears, 
warming the altar with my lips, the stone with 
my breast. Then I reviewed all my private dis- 
tresses, and murmured my desires and fears, with a 
prayer for the home I had left behind me in the un- 
certainty of fortune, and my hope, now faltering, of 
happiness to come. I was heard. I visited Rome, 
and found all things issue happily, I returned home 
and now proclaim the praise of Cassian. 



X 

The Declarations of St. Romanus the Martyr 

AGAINST THE PaGANS." 

Romanus, stout defender of the divine Christ, 
grant thy favour and stir up the tongue within my 
speechless mouth, bountifully bestow graceful song on 
the mutest of men and enable me to sing the wonders 
of thy glory ; for thou knowest, thyself too, that the 
dumb can speak. The cruel torturer tore out from 
thee the tongue that played on palate and throat, 
and yet did not impose silence on the lips wherewith 
thou wert confessing God. The voice that bears 
witness to the truth cannot be annihilated, even if its 

" He was a deacon at Caesarea, but suffered at Antioch in 
303. See A. J. Mason, The Persecution of Diocletian (Cam- 
bridge, 1876), p. 188. 

229 



PRUDENTIUS 

nee si recisis palpitet meatibus. 10 

sic noster haerens sermo lingua debili 
balbutit et modis laborat absonis, 
sed si superno rore respergas iecur 
et spiritali lacte pectus inriges, 
vox inpeditos rauca laxabit sonos. 15 

evangelista scripsit ipsum talia 
praecepta Messian dedisse apostolis : 
" nolite verba, cum sacramentum meum 
erit canendum, providenter quaerere ; 
ego inparatis quae loquantur suggeram." 20 

sum mutus ipse, sed potens facundiae 
mea lingua Christus luculente disseret. 
ipse explicabit quos supremo spiritu 
daemon tumultus, dum domatur, moverit, 
furore pestis peior in novissimo. 25 

sic vulneratus anguis ictu spiculi 
ferrum remordet et dolore saevior 
quassando pressis inmoratur dentibus, 
hastile fixum sed manet profundius 
nee cassa sentit morsuum pericula. 30 

Galerius orbis forte Romanae statum 
ductor regebat, ut refert antiquitas, 
inmitis, atrox, asper, inplacabilis. 
edicta late mundum in omnem miserat, 
Christum negaret quisque mallet vivere. 35 

haec ille serpens ore dictat regio, 
qui mortuorum de sepulcris exiens 
clamat: " quid ante tempus adventu cito 

« Cf. Matthew x, 1^-20. 
* See note on VII, 6. 



230 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

passage be cut away and it can only gasp. So my 
speech sticks and stammers with feeble tongue 
and labours in inharmonious measures ; but if thou 
sprinkle my heart with the dew from on high and 
flood my breast with the milk of the spirit, my 
hoarse voice will unloose the sounds which are now 
obstructed. The Evangelist has written that the 
Messiah himself instructed the apostles in this wise : 
" Seek not with forethought for words when my 
mystic doctrine is to be proclaimed. I shall furnish 
the unready with what they shall say." " In myself I 
am dumb, but Christ is master of eloquence ; He 
will be my tongue and discourse excellently. He will 
set forth all the uproar that the devil raised with his 
last breath while he was being subdued, a bane grown 
worse than ever in his latest frenzy. Just so a 
serpent wounded by stroke of spear-point bites 
back at the steel and keeps on shaking it in the 
grip of its teeth, growing more savage with the pain, 
but the lance has pierced too deeply and stays fast, 
unconscious of the futile danger of the bites. 

Galerius ^ was in power, as it befell, governing the 
affairs of the Roman world, a man who, as old times 
tell, was ruthless, cruel, hard, implacable, and he had 
sent forth proclamations far and wide over the whole 
world that any man who chose to live must deny 
Christ." It was that serpent that uttered these 
words by the imperial lips, which as he came out of 
the tombs of the dead cried : " Why dost Thou come 
so speedily before it is time and destroy my kingdom ? 

" Diocletian's edicts were not so crude (see Parker, History 
of the Roman World, A.D. 138-337, London, 1935, pp. 236- 
237, Mason, op. cit., pp. 101 ff.) But Galerius and his officers 
seem to have administered them in their own spirit. 

231 



PRUDENTIUS 

mea regna solvis ? parce, Fill altissimi, 

vel possidere corda porcorum iube." 40 

praefectus istis inminens negotiis 
Asclepiades ire mandat milites 
ecclesiasten usque de sacrariis 
raptare plebem mancipandam vinculis 
ni disciplinam Nazarenam respuat. 45 

mox ipse templum cogitans inrumpere 
et dissipare sancta sanctorum studens 
armis profanus praeparabat inpiis 
altaris aram funditus pessum dare 
foresque et ipsas in ruinam solvere. 50 

praecurrit index his repente cognitis 
Romanus acris heros excellentiae, 
venire in armis perduelles nuntiat 
animos paventum praestruens hortatibus, 
stent ut parati neve cedant turbini. 55 

conspirat uno foederatus spiritu 
grex Christianus, agmen inperterritum 
matrum, virorum, parvulorum, virginum ; 
fixa et statuta est omnibus sententia 
fidem tueri vel libenter emori. 60 

refert repulsus miles ad subsellia 
plebis rebellis esse Romanum ducem, 
flagrare cunctos pervicaci audacia, 
iugulos retectos obstinate opponere, 
quo gloriosa morte fortes oppetant. 65 

praeceps iubetur inde Romanus rapi 
solusque ut incitator et fax omnium 
pro contumaci plebe causam dicere. 
it non resistens seque vinciri petit 
flexas et ultro torquet in tergum manus. 70 

amor coronae paene praevenit trucem 
lictoris artem sponte nudas ofFerens 



232 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOiM, X 

Spare me, Son of the Most High, or command that I 
take possession of the hearts of the swine." " The 
prefect Asclepiades, bent on this task, ordered 
soldiers to go and carry off the people of the Church 
from the very sanctuaries, to be delivered over to 
imprisonment unless they rejected the Nazarene 
teaching. Then himself meaning to break into the 
church, and eager to demolish the Holy of Holies, 
he was making ready profanely with ungodly force to 
cast down the altar of sacrifice utterly to the ground 
and smash the very doors. At this unexpected news 
Romanus, a holy man of outstanding boldness, 
hastens to give warning before it happens and 
brings word that enemies are coming in arms, fortify- 
ing the hearts of the fearful with exhortations to 
stand ready and not give way before the storm. 
The Christian flock is united in the league of one 
spirit, a company undismayed of mothers and 
husbands, little children and maidens, all with 
determination firmly set to maintain their faith or 
be willing to die. The soldiers, being driven back, 
report to the tribunal that Romanus is leader of the 
people in their refusal to submit and that all are on 
fire with a determined boldness, resolutely presenting 
their throats uncovered and meaning to meet a 
glorious death with fortitude. Thereupon order is 
given that Romanus be arrested and brought with 
all haste and, because it is he who singly incites and 
inflames them all, be put on trial as representative 
of the stubborn people. He goes unresisting, asks to 
be bound, and of his own accord turns his hands 
round behind him. His passion for the martyr's 
crown all but outstrips the lictor's cruel trade, freely 

« Cf. Matthew viii, 28 ff. 

233 



PRUDENTIUS 

costas bisulcis exsecandas ungulis. 

inrumpit altum limen et praeconibus 

stupore mutis ipse tortorem trahit. 75 

adstanti ob ora sic tyrannus incipit : 
" infame monstrum, vilis, intestabilis, 
tu ventilator urbis et vulgi levis 
procella mentes inquietas mobiles, 
ne se inperita turba dedat legibus. 80 

populate quiddam sub colore gloriae 
inlitterata credidit frequentia, 
ut se per aevum consecrandos autument, 
si bella divis ceu gigantes inferant 
victique flammis obruantur montium. 85 

hoc tu parasti, perdite, spectaculum 
cladis cruentae de necandis ^ civibus, 
quos ut profanos inpiati et saeculi 
reos necesse est te magistro interfici : 
tu causa mortis, tu malorum signifer. 90 

ni fallor, aequum est ut, quod auctor inprobus 
tolerare multos conpulisti ut carnifex, 
in te recurrat, proque tantis caedibus, 
quae mox futurae, primus exitium luas, 
feras et ipse quod ferendum suaseras." 95 

his ille contra reddit ore libero : 
" amplector, o praefecte, nee me subtraho, 
ut pro fideli plebe solus inmoler, 

1 denecandis Bergman, taking the phrase as a dative of pur- 
pose, hut this compound is otherwise unknown. 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

exposing his bare ribs to be cut away with the two- 
forked claws. He dashes into the august door-way, 
dragging the torturer after him, while the ushers of 
the court are dumb with amazement. As he stands 
face to face, the oppressor thus addresses him : " You 
monstrous villain, base and infamous, you are the 
disturber of the city's peace, like a stormy wind 
disordering the fickle mob's inconstant minds so 
that the ignorant rabble shall not submit to the law. 
The uneducated multitude has believed a doctrine 
that appeals to the people under the guise of glory, 
so that they aver that they are to be made immortal 
through all time if, like the Giants," they make war 
on the gods and in defeat are buried under flaming 
mountains. It is you, you wretch, who have con- 
trived this exhibition of bloody calamity from the 
slaughter of citizens who, because they are impious 
and guilty of bringing sin upon the world, cannot fail 
to be put to death as the result of your teaching. 
You are the cause of their death, you lead them on to 
do evil. To my mind it is just that the fate which 
your wicked instigation has driven many to suffer, 
as much as if you were their executioner, should 
come back on yourself, and that for the great 
slaughters soon to happen you should be the first to 
pay the penalty of death, suffering yourself what you 
urged that they should suffer." 

To this Romanus answered with bold speech : 
" Gladly, sir, and with no shirking, do I accept the 
part of being sacrificed alone for the faithful people ; 

" The Giants in the Greek mythology were sons of Earth, 
who at her instigation made war on the gods but were defeated 
and imprisoned under volcani& mountains such as Etna (Cf. 
Aeneid, III, 578 S.). 

235 



PRUDENTIUS 

dignus subire cuncta, si me consulis, 
quaecumque vestra iusserit crudelitas. 100 

intrare servis idolorum ac daemonum 
sanctam salutis non licet nostrae domum, 
ne polluatur purus orandi locus ; 
confido Sancto in Spiritu numquam tibi 
dandum ut beatum limen attingas pede, 105 

nisi forte noster factus in nostrum gregem 
mereare sumi, quod Pater faxit Deus." 
incensus his Asclepiades iusserat 
eviscerandum corpus eculeo eminus 
pendere at uncis vinculisque crescere. 110 

apparitores sed furenti suggerunt 
ilium vetusta nobilem prosapia 
meritisque multis esse primum civium. 
iubet amoveri noxialem stipitem, 
plebeia clarum poena ne damnet virum. 115 

" tundatur," inquit, " terga crebris ictibus 
plumboque cervix verberata extuberet. 
persona quaeque conpetenter plectitur 
magnique refert vilis an sit nobilis ; 
gradu reorum forma tormentis datur." 120 

pulsatus ergo martyr ilia grandine 
postquam inter ictus dixit hymnum plumbeos, 
erectus infit : " absit ut me nobilem 
sanguis parentum praestet aut lex curiae : 
generosa Christi secta nobilitat viros. 125 

si prima nostris quae sit incunabulis 
origo textu stemmatis recenseas, 
Dei parentis esse ab ore coepimus. 
cui quisque servit, ille vere est nobilis : 
patri rebellis invenitur degener. 130 

honos deinde stemmati accedit novus 



236 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

for if you ask me, I am worthy to undergo all that 
the cruelty of you rulers commands. Servants of 
idols and devils are not allowed to enter the holy 
house of our salvation, lest the pure place of prayer be 
defiled. I trust in the Holy Spirit that never shall 
it be granted you to set foot on the blessed doorway, 
— unless you become one of us and worthy of ad- 
mission to our flock, which may God the Father bring 
to pass." Angered at these words, Asclepiades gave 
orders that his body be slung up on the rack to 
be torn, and be stretched with hooks and cords. But 
in the midst of his rage his attendants brought to his 
notice that Romanus was a nobleman of long descent, 
whose many services had made him first of citizens ; 
so he ordered the wooden engine of punishment to 
be removed, lest he sentence a man of distinction 
to a penalty intended for the vulgar. " Let his 
back be beaten with many strokes, and his shoulders 
swell up with the blows of the leaded lash. Any 
man is punished suitably to his status, and it makes 
much difference whether he is meanly or nobly born. 
The tortures are given their shape according to the 
rank of the prisoners." 

So the martyr received that hail of blows. Amid 
the leaded strokes he voiced a hymn, and then raising 
himself said : " Far be it from me that the blood of 
my parents or the law of the senate-chamber should 
make me noble ; it is Christ's noble teaching that 
ennobles men. If you examine into the first origin 
of our birth by constructing a family tree, it is from 
the mouth of God our Father that our existence 
begins. Whosoever serves Him is the true nobleman ; 
he who will not submit to the Father turns out to be 
debased. And then a new honour accrues to our 

237 



PRUDENTIUS 

et splendor ingens ut magistratus venit, 

si confitendi nominis testem probum 

signent inusta ferri et ignis vulnera 

et vim dolorum mors sequatur inclyta. 135 

cave benignus esse perverse velis, 
nee mi remissus leniter peperceris ; 
incumbe membris, tortor, ut sim nobilis. 
his ampliatus si fruar successibus, 
genus patris matrisque flocci fecero. 140 

haec ipsa vestra dignitatum culmina 
quid esse censes ? nonne cursim transeunt 
fasces, secures, sella, praetextae togae, 
lictor, tribunal, et trecenta insignia 
quibus tumetis, moxque detumescitis ? 145 

cum consulatum initis, ut vernae solent, 
(pudet fateri) farre pullos pascitis ; 
aquila ex eburna sumit adrogantiam 
gestator eius ac superbit beluae 
inflatus osse, cui figura est alitis. 150 

iam si sub aris ad sigillorum pedes 
iaceatis infra sectilem quercum siti, 
quid esse vobis aestimem proiectius ? 
nudare plantas ante carpentum scio 
proceres togatos matris Idaeae sacris. 155 

lapis nigellus evehendus essedo 



» The toga edged with purple, which was worn by high 
magistrates. 

* An old method of taking auspices, which had been used on 
military expeditions. The nature of the omen depended 
on whether the chickens refused or took the food, and the 
manner in which they took it. 

" An ivory staff or sceptre, topped with the figure of an 
eagle, was in republican times carried by a general celebrating a 

238 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

descent, a great distinction comes to us, like that of 
an office of state, if a witness who uprightly confesses 
the name is marked with the branded wounds of iron 
and fire and a glorious death follows on his violent 
pains. Be not wrongly kind, do not spare me with 
indulgent leniency. Do your worst on my body, tor- 
mentor, so that I may be ennobled. If I have the 
benefit of victory in these contests to enhance me, 
I shall set small store by my father's or my mother's 
birth. Even the exalted ranks that men like you 
have reached, — what do you reckon them to be ? 
Do they not pass away quickly, the rods, the axes, 
the chair of state, the bordered robe," the lictor, the 
judgment-seat, and all the thousand badges of 
honour on the strength of which you swell with 
pride, and then fall flat? When you enter on the 
consulship you feed chickens with meal,** doing (I feel 
shame to say it !) the work of slaves. The man who 
carries the ivory eagle puts on a haughty air on the 
strength of it ; he is blown up with pride by a 
beast's bone wrought into the shape of a bird." 
And when you are prostrate at the base of an altar at 
the feet of some statue, lowering yourselves before a 
hewn oak tree, what can I think more abject than 
you? I know that nobles in their togas bare their 
feet before the car at the rites of the Idaean Mother.*' 
A paltry black stone encased in silver with a woman's 

triumph, but later apparently borne by consuls. Cf. Contra 
Symm. I, 349. 

'' The Magna Mater (see the note on Contra Symm. I, 187). 
At the festival of the Megalesia the image was seated in a car 
and drawn in procession. See the descriptions in Lucretius, 
II, 600 ff., Ovid, Fasti, IV, 181 fiF. The ceremonial washing of 
the stone in the small stream of the Ahno, outside the Porta 
Capena at Rome, was performed annually. 

239 



PRUDENTIUS 

muliebris oris clausus argento sedet, 

quern dum ad lavacrum praeeundo ducitis 

pedes remotis atterentes calceis, 

Almonis usque pervenitis rivulum. 1 60 

quid ilia turpis pompa ? nempe ignobiles 
vos esse monstrat, cum luperci curritis. 
quern servulorum non rear vilissimum, 
nudus plateas si per omnes cursitans 
pulset puellas verbere iotas ludicro? 165 

miseret tuorum me sacrorum et principum 
morumque, Roma, saeculi summum caput, 
age explicemus, si placet, mysteria, 
praefecte, vestra : iam necesse est audias, 
nolis velisne, quid colatis sordium. 170 

nee terret ista, qua tumes, vesania, 
quod vultuosus, quod supinus, quod rigens 
tormenta leti comminaris asperi : 
si me movere rebus ullis niteris, 
ratione mecum, non furore, dimica. 175 

iubes, relictis Patris et Christi sacris, 
ut tecum adorem feminas mille ac mares, 
deas deosque, deque sexu duplici 
natos, nepotes, abnepotes editos 
et tot stuprorum sordidam prosapiam. 180 

nubunt puellae, saepe luduntur dolis, 
amasionum comprimuntur fraudibus, 
incesta fervent, furta moechorum calent, 
fallit maritus, odit uxor paelicem, 
deos catenae conligant adulteros. 185 

ostende, quaeso, quas ad aras praecipis 
vervece caeso fumet ut caespes meus ? 
Delphosne pergam ? sed vetat palaestrici 

" See note on Contra Symm. II, 862. 
240 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

features is to be carried forth sitting in a chariot, and 
you go in front leading it to the washing place with 
your shoes off, bruising your feet on the ground, till 
you come to Almo's little stream. What of that 
other infamous procession ? It does show you de- 
based when you run in the character of Luperci." 
I must think anyone the meanest of mean slaves if he 
runs about naked through all the streets, striking 
girls in sport with the blows of a lash. I pity thy 
rites and thy rulers and ways, O Rome, thou supreme 
head of this world. Come, sir, let us set forth, if 
you do not mind, your side's religion. Now you must 
needs hear, whether you will or not, the base things 
you worship. There are no terrors for me in this 
mad rage with which you are bursting, the grim 
look, the head in air, the unbending mien with which 
you threaten me with the tortures of a cruel death. 
If you are trying to move me by any means, fight me 
with reason, not with frenzy. You bid me abandon "7 
the worship of the Father and Christ, and along with 
you venerate a thousand males and females, god- 
desses and gods and children, grandchildren, great- 
great-grandchildren of both sexes born to them, and 
the base progeny of their many unchastities. The 
girls marry, or often they are made the sport of 
trickery and violated by dishonest lovers, lewdness 
and stratagems of paramours go briskly on, a husband 
is unfaithful and a wife hates a mistress, chains bind 
adulterous gods.^ Show me, pray, the altars where 
you command that my turf shall smoke with a 
slaughtered ram. Shall I go to Delphi ? No, I am 

* The allusion is to the story of the trap in which Hephaestus 
(Vulcan) caught Aphrodite (Venus) and Ares (Mars) (Odyssey 
Vni, 266 if.). 

241 



PRUDENTIUS 

corrupta ephebi fama, quern vester deus 
effeminavit gymnadis licentia. 190 

mox flevit inpuratus occisum gravi 
disco et dicavit florulentum subcubam. 
conductus idem pavit alienum pecus, 
furem deinde perditi passus gregis 
segnis bubulcus tela et ipsa perdidit. 195 

an ad Cybebes ibo lucum pineum ? 
puer sed obstat gallus ob libidinem 
per triste vulnus perque sectum dedecus 
ab inpudicae tutus amplexu deae, 
per multa Matri sacra plorandus spado. 200 

sed, credo, magni limen amplectar lovis, 
qui si citetur legibus vestris reus, 
laqueis minacis implicatus luliae 
luat severam victus ^ et Scantiniam, 
te cognitore dignus ire in carcerem. 205 

quid ? aureorum conditorem temporum 
censes colendum ? quern fugacem non negas 
latuisse furtim dum reformidat malum ; 
quern si beate vivere audit luppiter, 
plectat necesse est occulendi conscios. 210 

quid inter aras dissidentum numinum 
putas agendum ? Martis indignabitur 

1 vinctus CDP. 

" Hyacinthus of Amyclae, near Sparta, was beloved of the 
Delphic Apollo, who accidentally killed him in throwing a 
quoit. A version of the story is told by Ovid (Metamorphoses, 
X, 162 fF.). In florulentum there is a secondary allusion to 
the flower which was said to have sprung from his blood. 

* Apollo, being condemned to serve a mortal for a year, 
became herdsman to Admetus, King of Pherae. The theft of 
Apollo's cattle and of his bow and arrows by the infant Hermes 
(Mercurius) is another Greek story. 
242 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

forbidden by the spoiled i-epute of the lad on the 
exercise-ground, whom your god dishonoured, taking 
advantage of the freedom of the wrestling-bout ; 
and later on the vile god wept for him because he 
was killed with a heavy quoit, and made his leman 
immortal in the bloom of youth.* He hired himself 
out, too, to feed another's herd and then, being a lazy 
herdsman, fell a victim to a thief and lost his herd 
and lost his weapons too.^ Or shall I go to Cybebe's 
pine-grove ? No, for there stands in my way the lad 
who emasculated himself because of her lust, and by a 
grievous wound cutting the parts of shame saved 
himself from the unchaste goddess's embrace, a 
eunuch " for whom the Mother has to lament in 
many a rite. But, I suppose, I should cleave to the 
abode of great Jupiter, who if he were summoned 
for trial under your statutes would be caught in the 
toils of the menacing Julian <* law, and convicted 
under the stern Scantinian <* law too and pay its 
penalty, and you as judge would find him worthy 
to go to prison. Well then, do you reckon the 
founder of the golden age * deserving of worship ? 
You admit that he lay privily in hiding, a fugitive in 
fear of ill-treatment ; but if Jupiter hears that he is 
alive and prosperous he cannot fail to punish those 
who were accomplices in his concealment. What, 
think you, is to be done when you have on either 
hand the altars of deities who are at variance ? 
The valiant Mars will be hurt and angry if the 

' Attis, beloved of Cybebe (= Cybele, Mother of the Gods). 
Cf. Contra Symm. II, 52. 

•* The lex lulia de adulteriis enacted by Augustus, and the 
earlier lex Scanlinia against unnatural oflFences. 

' Saturn. See note on Contra Symm. I, 44. 

243 



PRUDENTIUS 

ofFensa virtus si colatur Lemnius, 

lunonis iram sentiet quisque ut deum 

signo aut sacello consecrarit Herculem. 215 

dicis licenter haec poetas fingere, 
sed sunt et ipsi talibus mysteriis 
tecum dicati, quodque describunt, colunt. 
tu cur piaclum tarn libenter lectitas ? 
cur in theatris te vidente id plauditur ? 220 

cygnus stuprator peccat inter pulpita, 
saltat Tonantem tauricornem ludius : 
spectator horum pontifex summus sedes 
ridesque et ipse, nee negando diluis, 
cum fama tanti polluatur numinis. 225 

cur tu, sacrate, per cachinnos solveris 
cum se maritum fingit Alcmenae deus ? 
meretrix Adonem vulneratum scaenica 
libidinoso plangit adfectu palam, 
nee te lupanar Cypridis sanctae movet ? 230 

quid quod sub ipsis Veritas signis patet, 
formata in aere criminum vestigiis ? 
quid vult sigillum semper adfixum lovi 
avis ministrae ? nempe velox armiger 
leno, exoletum qui tyranno pertulit. 235 

facem recincta veste praetendit Ceres : 
cur, si deorum nemo rapuit virginem, 

" Vulcan, who when hurled from heaven by Jupiter landed 
on the island of Lemnos {Iliad, I, 590-4) which, as its people 
cared -for him, was afterwards " by far the dearest of all lands 
to him " (Odyssey, VIII, 284). 

* She hated Hercules from his birth, indeed before it, and 
did her worst to bring trouble on him. 

" See Contra 8ymm. 1, 59-64. 
244 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

Lemnian " is worshipped ; and anyone who con- 
secrates Hercules as a god with statue or shrine will 
feel the wrath of Juno.** You say the poets invent 
these tales at their pleasure ; but they are themselves 
devoted, no less than you, to such mystic cults, and 
what they describe they worship. Why do you 
always find such pleasure in reading of sin ? Why is 
it applauded in the theatres, where t/ow see it enacted ? 
The ravisher swan '^ does his evil deed on the stage, a 
player dances the part of the Thunderer with the 
bull's horns, while you, the high priest, sit and watch 
these things and laugh at them yourself, and never 
discredit them by denying their truth, though the 
good name of this great deity is soiled. Why does 
your reverence burst into loud laughter when the god 
pretends he is Alcmena's husband ? <^ A harlot on 
the stage mourns for the wounded Adonis « with 
frankly lustful passion, and are you not moved to 
anger at the whoring ascribed to the holy Lady of 
Cyprus ? Indeed the truth of these stories is clear 
to see in the statues themselves, where it is shaped in 
bronze in the prints of their crimes. What means the 
figure of the attendant bird that is always attached 
to Jupiter ? Of course it is the swift armour-bearer- 
pander that carried the debauched youth/ to the 
tyrant. Ceres, her robe girt back, holds out a torch 
before her. Why, if not that a god carried off a 

"■ Amphitryo, whose form Jupiter took. The story is the 
theme of a play by Plautus. The pantomimus, who enacted 
scenes in dumb show [saltare), came into fashion in the early 
Empire. 

' The beloved of Venus. He was killed by a boar while 
hunting. Venus is called Cypris because her cult was of 
ancient standing in Cyprus. 

^ Ganymede. See note on Contra Symm. I, 61. 

245 



PRUDENTIUS 

quam nocte quaerens mater errat pervigil ? 

fusos rotantem cernimus Tirynthium : 

cur, si Neaerae non fuit ludibrio ? 240 

quid ? rusticorum monstra detester deum, 
Faunos, Priapos, fistularum praesides, 
nymphas natantes incolasque aquatiles, 
sitas sub alto, more ranarum, lacu, 
divinitatis ius in algis vilibus ? 245 

ad haec colenda me vocas, censor bone ? 
potesne quidquam tale, si sanum sapis, 
sanctum putare ? nonne pulmonem movet 
derisus istas intuens ineptias, 
quas vinolentae somniis fingunt anus ? 250 

aut si quod usquam est vanitatis mysticae 
nobis colendum est, ipse primus incipe : 
promisee adora quidquid in terris sacri est, 
deos Latinos et deos Aegyptios, 
quis Roma libat, quis Canopus supplicat. 255 

Venerem precaris, conprecare et simiam. 
placet sacratus aspis Aesculapii : 
crocodillus, ibis et canis cur displicent ? 
adpone porris religiosas arulas, 
venerare acerbum caepe, mordax allium. 260 

fuliginosi ture placantur lares, 
et respuuntur consecrata holuscula ? 
aut unde maior esse maiestas focis 
quam nata in hortis sarculatis creditur ? 

" Proserpina (Persephone), daughter of Ceres (Demeter), 
carried off from Henna in Sicily by Dis (Pluto). Her mother 
searched the world for her. (Ovid, Metamorphoses, V, 385 ff.) 

' Hercules, whom story connected with the ancient city of 
Tiryns. Having become guilty of murder, he was by order 
of Jupiter sold to Omphale, Queen of Lydia, under whom he 
did women's work for a year. 

246 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

maiden," in search of whom her mother wanders all 
the night through ? We see the Tirynthian ^ twirling 
spindles. Why, if not that he was the sport of a 
light-of-love ? Or again, must I denounce those 
monstrous gods of the country-side, such as Faunus 
and Priapus or him who presides over the pipes," 
nymphs who swim and live in the water, dwelling at 
the bottom of a deep pool like frogs, a divine authority 
seated in common seaweed ? Is it these you call on 
me to worship, good censor ? Can you, if you are in 
your sound senses, imagine any such thing to be 
holy ? Does not derisive laughter shake your sides 
at the contemplation of these absurdities, the phan- 
tasies of tipsy old wives' dreams ? Or if we must 
worship every false divinity in the world, be yourself 
the first to begin. Do reverence indiscriminately to 
everything that is held sacred on earth, Latin gods 
and Egyptian gods, those to whom Rome makes 
offerings and those to whom Canopus presents her 
petitions. You pray to Venus ; pray also to the ape. 
You accept the hallowed serpent of Aesculapius ; <* 
why do you not accept crocodile and ibis and dog? 
Set up devout altars for leeks, worship the sharp 
onion, the pungent garlic* Are your smoke- 
grimed/ house-spirits propitiated with incense, and 
yet divine vegetables rejected? On what grounds 
are fire-places believed to have a majesty greater 
than that which grows in tilled gardens ? If there is 

« Pan. 

^ The Latinised name of the Greek god of healing, Asklepios, 
with whom the serpent was closely associated. 

' See Contra Symm. II, 865-871. 

f From the proximity of their images to the domestic fire- 
place. 

247 



PRUDENTIUS 

si numen ollis, numen et porris inest. 265 

sed pulchra res est forma in aere sculptilis. 
quid inprecabor officinis Graeciae, 
quae condiderunt gentibus stultis deos ? 
forceps Myronis, malleus Polycliti 
natura vestrum est atque origo caelitum. 270 

ars seminandis efficax erroribus, 
barbam rigentem dum lovis circumplicat, 
dum defluentem leniter flectens comam 
limat capillos et corymbos Liberi, 
et dum Minervae pectus hydris asperat, 275 

iniecit atram territis formidinem, 
ut fulmen aeris ceu Tonantis horreant, 
tremant venerium sibilantis Gorgonae, 
putent ephebum post triumphos Indices 
ferire thyrso posse, cum sit ebrius. 280 

turn quod Dianam molle succinctam vident, 
venantis arcum pertimescunt virginis ; 
si forte vultum tristioris Herculis 
liquore crispo massa finxit fusilis, 
clavam minari, ni colatur, creditur. 285 

iam quis paventum corda terror occupat 
lunonis iram si polite expresserit ? 
velut retortis intuens obtutibus 
avertat ora de litantis hostia, 
lapis severa fronte mentitur minas. 290 

miror quod ipsum non sacrastis Mentorem, 
nee templum et aras ipse Phidias habet, 

" Greek sculptors of the 5th century B.C. Two celebrated 
works of Myron were his Quoit Thrower and his Cow, both in 
bronze. Polyclitus was famous for his statue of Hera (Juno) 
in ivory and gold. 

* The Gorgon's head, with snakes for hair, being represented 
on the goddess's breastplate. Cf. Aeneid, VIII, 435-438. 

248 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

a divinity in them, there is a divinity in leeks as 
well. But, you say, the graven image in bronze is a 
thing of beauty. What curse shall I call down on the 
studios of Greece, which have created gods for 
foolish nations ? Myron's " tongs and Polyclitus' " 
hammer are the substance and source of your heaven- 
dwellers. Art has been effective in propagating 
superstitions. By curling Jupiter's stiff beard, by 
gently waving Liber's flo%ving locks and giving a 
smooth, finished look to his hair and ivy-berries, by 
making Minerva's breast bristle with snakes,^ it 
affrighted men and inspired them with a grim 
terror so that they shudder at a bronze thunderbolt 
as if it belonged to the Thunderer, stand in dread of 
the hissing Gorgon's venom, and think a young 
man " coming from victories in India can strike them 
with his thyrsus, being drunken. And because they 
see Diana with her dress girt up for easy movement 
they are afraid of the huntress-maid's bow ; or if it 
chance that the molten metal with its rippling flow 
has moulded the features of Hercules to look rather 
grim, he is believed to be menacing men with his club 
unless he be worshipped. Again, what terror seizes 
the hearts of shrinking men if it has made a finished, 
lifelike figure of an angry Juno ! As if she were 
looking askance and turning her face from the victim 
offered by her worshipper, the stone with its stern 
visage counterfeits menaces. I wonder you pagans 
have not deified Mentor <* himself and that Phidias « 

« Dionysus (Liber). Cf. Contra Symm. I, 122 flF., II, 858. 

<* A Greek artist best known for his work in silver ; cups from 
his hand were highly prized. 

« A Greek sculptor of the age of Pericles. Statues of 
Athene in the Parthenon at Athens and of Zeus at Olympia, 
both in gold and ivory, were among his most famous works. 

249 



250 



PRUDENTIUS 

fabri deorum vel parentes numinum, 

qui si caminis institissent segnius, 

non esset ullus luppiter conflatilis, 295 

non erubescis, stulte, pago dedite, 
te tanta semper perdidisse obsonia 
quae dis ineptus obtulisti talibus, 
quos trulla, pelvis, cantharus, sartagines, 
fracta et liquata contulerunt vascula ? 300 

ignosco fatuis haec tamen vulgaribus, 
quos lana terret diseolora in stipite, 
quos saepe falsus circulator decipit, 
quibus omne sanctum est, quod pavendum ran- 

cidae 
edentularum cantilenae suaserint. 305 

vos eruditos miror et doctos viros, 
perpensa vitae quos gubernat regula, 
nescire vel divina vel mortalia 
quo iure constent, quanta maiestas regat 
quidquid creatum est, quae creavit omnia. 310 

Deus perennis, res inaestimabilis, 
non cogitando, non videndo clauditur, 
excedit omnem mentis humanae modum 
nee conprehendi visibus nostris valet, 
extraque et intus inplet ac superfluit. 315 

intemporalis, ante quam primus dies, 
esse et fuisse semper unus obtinet ; 
lux ipse vera, veri et auctor luminis, 
cum lumen esset, lumen efFudit suum : 
ex luce fulgor natus hie est Filius. 320 

vis una Patris, vis et una est Filii 
unusque, ab uno lumine splendor satus 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

himself has not temple and altars ; for they are the 
manufacturers of gods, or the fathers of deities, and if 
they had applied themselves with less energy to their 
furnaces there would be no cast Jupiter. Do you not 
blush, foolish man, devoted to pagan worship, to 
think that you have always wasted all those victuals 
you have absurdly offered to gods like these, made 
out of an assemblage of ladles, basins, tankards, fry- 
ing-pans, broken vessels melted down ? After all, I 
can make allowance for these notions in the simple- 
tons of the common herd ; they are frightened at the 
sight of wool of different colours on a tree-stump,« 
and often taken in by a lying mountebank, and in 
their eyes everything is holy which the mawkish 
babblings of toothless hags have made them think 
fearful. But I wonder that educated, scholarly 
men like you, who are guided by a studied rule of 
life, do not know the authority on which rest things 
human and divine alike, or how great is the majesty 
which rules all created things and has itself created 
them all. The everlasting God is a being incompre- 
hensible, not limited by our thought or sight. He 
passes all the bounds of human intelligence. He can- 
not be grasped by our eyes, all without and within 
He fills and more than fills. Existing timelessly, 
before the first day was. He alone maintains his 
being both now and forever in the past. He, who is 
himself the true light and the author of true light, 
being light, shed forth his light, and this brightness 
born of light is the Son. The potency of the Father 
and the potency of the Son are one ; one splendour 

" Cf. note on Contra Symm. II, 1006. We also hear of a 
pine-tree wound round with wool being taken in procession 
into the temple of the Magna Mater. 

251 



PRUDENTIUS 

pleno refulsit claritatis numine. 

natura simplex pollet unius Dei, 

et quidquid usquam est una virtus condidit, 325 

caelum solumque, vim marini gurgitis, 
globos dierum noctiumque praesides, 
ventos, procellas, fulgura, imbres, nubila, 
septemtriones, Hesperos, aestus, nives, 
fontes, pruinas et metalla et flumina, 330 

praerupta, plana, montium convallia, 
feras, volucres, reptiles, natatiles, 
iumenta, pecua, subiugales, beluas, 
flores, frutecta, germina, herbas, arbores, 
quae sunt odori, quaeque vernant esui. 335 

haec non labore et arte molitus Deus 
sed iussiohe, quam potestas protulit, 
mandavit esse ; facta sunt quae non erant. 
Verbo creavit omniformem machinam ; 
virtus paterna semper in Verbo fuit. 340 

cognostis ipsum : nunc colendi agnoscite 
ritum modumque, quale sit templi genus, 
quae dedicari sanxerit donaria, 
quae vota poscat, quos sacerdotes velit, 
quod mandet illic nectar inmolarier. 345 

aedem sibi ipse mente in hominis condidit 
vivam, serenam, sensualem, flabilem, 
solvi incapacem posse, nee destructilem, 
pulchram, venustam, praeminentem culmine, 
discriminatis inlitam coloribus. 350 

illic sacerdos stat sacrato in limine, 
foresque primas virgo custodit Fides 
innexa crines vinculis regalibus ; 
poscit litari victimas Christo et Patri 
quas scit placere, candidatas, simplices : 355 

frontis pudorem, cordis innocentiam, 



252 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

born of one light shone forth from a Godhead which 
is all brightness. God is one and his mighty being is 
single, and all that exists everywhere was created by 
one power, — heaven and earth, the mighty deep of 
the sea, the globes that preside over day and night, 
winds, tempests, lightnings, rain and clouds, the 
stars of the Wain, the evening star, heat and snow, 
springs, frosts, lodes of ore, rivers, places steep and 
level, mountain glens, wild beasts, creatures that fly 
or crawl or swim, beasts of burden, cattle, animals 
that bear the yoke, monstrous beasts, flowers, bushes, 
shoots, plants, trees, that give their scent or grow for 
food. AH these by no effort of labour or skill but by 
command which issued from his power God ordered 
to be. What did not exist before was created; 
by the Word He created the fabric of the world in its 
manifold shapes, and the Father's power was ever 
present in the Word. You have heard what He is ; 
learn now the way and manner of worshipping Him, 
the nature of his temple, the gifts He has ordained 
to be dedicated to Him, the prayers He calls for, the 
priests He would have, the sweet savour He com- 
mands to be sacrificed to Him there. A temple He 
has established for himself in the soul of man, one 
that is living, clear, perceptive, spiritual, incapable of 
dissolution or destruction, beautiful, graceful, high- 
topped, coloured with different hues. There stands 
the priestess in the sacred doorway ; the virgin Faith 
guards the first entrance, her hair bound with queenly 
ties, and calls for sacrifices to be offered to Christ and 
the Father which are pure and sincere, such as she 
knows are acceptable to them, — a modest bearing. 



253 



PRUDENTIUS 

pacis quietem, castitatem corporis, 

Dei timorem, regulam scientiae, 

ieiuniorum parcitatem sobriam, 

spem non iacentem, semper et largam manum. 

ex his amoenus hostiis surgit vapor 361 

vincens odorem balsami, turis, croci, 
auras madentes Persicorum aromatum. 
sublatus inde caelum adusque tollitur 
et prosperatum dulce delectat Deum. 365 

hanc disciplinam quisquis infensus vetat, 
vetat probatum vivere et sanctum sequi, 
vetat vigorem mentis alte intendere, 
nostrique acumen ignis ad terram vocat, 
nee excitari vim sinit prudentiae. 370 

o mersa limo caecitas gentilium ! 
o carnulenta nationum pectora ! 
o spissus error ! o tenebrosum genus 
terris amicum, deditum cadaveri, 
subiecta semper intuens, numquam supra ! 375 

furorne summus ultima et dementia est 
deos putare, qui creantur nuptiis, 
rem spiritalem terrulente quaerere, 
elementa mundi consecrare altaribus, 
id quod creatum est conditorem credere, 380 

deasceato supplicare stipiti, 
verris cruore scripta saxa spargere, 
aras ofellis obsecrare bubulis, 
homines fuisse cum scias, quos consecras, 
urnas reorum morticinas lambere ? 385 

desiste, iudex saeculi, tantum nefas 
viris iubere fortibusque et liberis. 
nil est amore veritatis Celsius. 
Dei perennis nomen adserentibus 
nihil pavori est, mors et ipsa subiacet." 390 



254 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

an innocent heart, unruffled peace, chastity of body, 
the fear of God which is the measure of knowledge, 
sober abstinence in fastings, hope ever erect, a hand 
ever generous. From these offerings arises a pleasing 
steam which surpasses the scent of balsam or incense 
or saffron or air drenched in eastern perfumes. It 
mounts from them and is carried right to heaven, 
where it wins favour with God and gives Him sweet 
delight. Whosoever is an enemy to this teaching and 
forbids it, forbids the good life and the pursuit of 
holiness, forbids us to direct the soul's activity on 
high, and calls our subtle fire to earth, not allowing 
the force of wisdom to be awakened. How blind and 
sunk in the mire are the pagans ! How fleshly the 
hearts of the heathen! How dense their error! 
How darkened is the race that loves the earth and 
devotes itself to the dead body, with eyes -ever on 
things below, never above ! Is it not the height of 
unreason, the last degree of folly, to think that 
creatures born of marriages are gods, to seek for a 
spiritual being after the manner of earth, to dedicate 
the world's elements on the altar and believe that 
what has been created is the creator, to pray to a 
hewn tree-trunk, to bespatter inscribed stones with 
the blood of a hog and make request of altars with 
scraps of beef, and when you know that the beings 
you deify were mortals, to caress the urns that hold 
the dead ashes of guilty men? Cease, thou judge 
of this world, to impose wickedness so great on men 
who are brave and free. There is nought loftier 
than the love of truth. Those who maintain the 
name of the everlasting God have nothing to 
make them afraid, even death itself is under their 
feet." 

255 



PRUDENTIUS 

dudum coquebat disserente martyre 
Asclepiades intus iram subdolam 
stomachatus alto felle, dum longum silet 
bilemque tectis concipit praecordiis ; 
tandem latentis vim furoris evomit : 395 

" pro luppiter! quid est quod ex hoc audio? 
stat inter aras et deorum imagines 
et, quod fateri cogor, in medio foro 
tacente memet, ac perorat perditus, 
quidquid sacrorum est ore foedans inpio. 400 

o fas priorum ! moris o prisci status ! 
inventa regum pro salute publica 
Pompiliorum nostra carpunt saecula. 
quis hos sophistas error invexit novus, 
qui non colendos esse divos disputent ? 405 

nunc dogma nobis Christianum nascitur 
post evolutos mille demum consules 
ab urbe Roma, ne retexam Nestoras. 
quidquid novellum surgit, olim non fuit. 
vis summa rerum nosse ? Pyrrham consule, 410 

ubi iste vester tunc erat summus Deus, 
divum favore cum puer Mavortius 
fundaret arcem septicoUem Romulus ? 
quod Roma pollet auspicato condita, 
lovi Statori debet et dis ceteris. 415 

hoc sanctum ab aevo est, hoc ab atavis tradi- 
tum: 



" Numa Pompilius. See note on Contra 8ymm, II, 47. ^ 

* I.e. to the Homeric heroes. 

« In the Greek story (c/. Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, 260 flF.) 
she and her husband Deucalion were the sole survivors of 
the great flood sent by Zeus. Being divinely instructed to 
throw " the bones of their great mother " behind them, 
they took this to mean stones, the bones of Mother Earth, 

256 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

While the martyr was discoursing, Asclepiades 
had long been privily nursing wrath within him, for 
he was fuming and his ire was deep while he kept this 
long silence and displeasure was rising secretly in his 
heart. At last he discharged the violence of the 
rage he had been cloaking: " Jupiter! What is it 
that I hear from this fellow? He stands amid the 
altars and statues of the gods in the middle of the 
court while, as I must needs confess, I keep silence, 
and delivers a harangue like the wretch he is, be- 
fouling all that is sacred with his impious mouth. 
Alas for what was held right in our forefathers' 
times, the established usages of olden days ! Our 
generation reviles the institutions devised by kings 
like Numa« for the welfare of the state. What 
modern error has brought in these sophists to argue 
that we must not worship the gods ? It is only now 
that we have the Christian doctrine arising, after a 
thousand years have rolled since the city of Rome 
began, not to go back to Nestor ^ and his times . 
Whatever the novelty is that now springs up, it did 
not exist in former days. If you would know the 
ultimate source of things, ask Pyrrha.'' Where was 
this supreme God of yours when under divine favour 
Mars' boy Romulus was establishing the stronghold 
of the seven hills ? Rome owes her auspicious 
foundation and her power to Jupiter the Stayer ** 
and the other gods. This has been ordained since 
time began, this is the tradition of our forefathers, 

and the stones they threw turned into men and women, thus 
restarting the human race. 

'' Tradition said that Romulus vowed a temple to Jupiter 
with this title for staying the flight of the Romans before the 
Sabines (Livy, I, 12). 

257 
VOL. II. K 



PRUDENTIUS 

placanda nobis pro triumphis principis 
delubra, faustus ut secundet gloriam 
procinctus, utque subiugatis hostibus 
ductor quietum frenet orbem legibus. 420 

accingere ergo, quisquis es, nequissime, 
pro principali rite nobiscum deos 
orare vita vel, quod hostem publicum 
pati necesse est, solve poenam sanguine, 
sprevisse templa respuisse est principem." 425 

tunc ille : " numquam pro salute et maximis 
fortissimisque principis cohortibus 
aliter precabor quam fidele ut militent 
Christique lymphis ut renascantur Patri, 
capiant et ipsum caelitus Paraclitum, 430 

ut idolorum respuant caliginem, 
cernant ut illud lumen aeternae spei 
non suculentis influens obtutibus 
nee corporales per fenestras emicans, 
puris sed intus quod relucet mentibus. 435 

pupilla carnis crassa crassum perspicit, 
et res caduca quod resolvendum est videt : 
liquidis videndis aptus est animae liquor ; 
natura fervens sola ferventissimae 
divinitatis vim coruscantem capit. 440 

hoc opto lumen imperator noverit 
tuus meusque, si velit fieri meus ; 
nam si resistit Christiano nomini, 
meus ille talis imperator non erit : 
scelus iubenti, crede, numquam serviam." 445 

" statis, ministri? " clamitans iudex ait, 
" statis manusque continetis vindices ? 
non rupta sulcis dissecatis viscera, 



258 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

that we must make propitiation at the shrines to 
secure triumphs for the emperor, so that his battle- 
array may be blessed and prosper his glory, and that 
when his enemies are subdued he may govern with 
his laws a peaceful world of which he is the head. 
Make ready then, villain, whoever you are, to pray 
to the gods in due form along with us for the em- 
peror's life ; or else pay the penalty with your blood, 
as must needs be done to an enemy of the state. To 
reject the temples is to cast off the emperor." 

Then said Romanus : " Never shall I pray for the 
emperor's well-being or for his great and brave 
regiments but that they may be faithful soldiers and 
in the water of Christ be born again for the Father 
and receive from heaven the Comforter himself, that 
they may cast off the darkness of idolatry and see the 
light of eternal hope which does not flow into the 
humours of the eyes gleaming through the windows 
of the body, but shines in pure hearts within. The 
fleshly pupil, being gross, perceives that which is 
gross ; being mortal, it sees that which must pass 
away ; it is the spiritual nature of the soul that 
is fitted to see spiritual things, it is only the glowing 
substance that takes in the flashing energy of the 
bright-glowing godhead. This light I desire that the 
emperor may come to know, — your emperor and mine 
also if he care to become mine ; for if he resists the 
Christian name, such an emperor as that will never 
be mine ; I assure you I shall never obey one who 
commands a sin." 

"Do you stand still, officers?" cries the judge 
with a loud voice ; "do you stand still and hold 
back your avenging hands ? Do you not rive his 
flesh and slash it in pieces, and tear out the life en- 

259 



PRUDENTIUS 

animam nee intus abditam rimamini, 

erumpit unde vox profana in prineipem? " 450 

seindunt utrumque milites taeterrimi 
mucrone hiulco pensilis latus viri, 
sulcant per artus longa tractim vulnera, 
obliqua rectis, recta transversis secant, 
et iam retectis pectus albet ossibus. 455 

nitendo anhelant, diffluunt sudoribus, 
cum sit quietus heros in quem saeviunt. 
haec inter addit sponte Romanus loqui : 
" si quaeris, o praefecte, verum noscere, 
hoc omne, quidquid lancinamur, non dolet. 460 

dolet quod error pectori insedit tuo, 
populos quod istos perditos ^ tecum trahis. 
currunt frequentes undique ad spectaculum, 
gentile vulgus, heu, gemenda corpora, 
crudumque nostrae sortis exemplum tremunt.465 

audite cuncti : clamo longe ac praedico, 
emitto vocem de catasta celsior : 
Christus paternae gloriae splendor, Deus, 
rerum creator, noster idem particeps 
spondet salutem perpetem credentibus, 470 

animae salutem, sola quae non occidit 
sed iuge durans dispares casus subit ; 
aut luce fulget aut tenebris mergitur ; 
Christum secuta Patris intrat gloriam, 
disiuncta Christo mancipatur Tartaro. 475 

curanda mercis qualitas, quaenam mihi 
contingat olim perpetis substantiae ; 
nam membra parvi pendo quo pacto cadant, 
casura certe lege naturae suae, 
instat ruina ; quod resolvendum est, ruat. 480 

nee distat, ignis et fidiculae saeviant, 

1 perditus BN, perditum V. 
260 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

sconced within, from which breaks forth this impious 
speech against the emperor? " The foul soldiers 
cut both his sides with gashing sword as he hangs, 
ploughing wounds in long lines over his body and 
making criss-cross cuts, till his breast shows white 
where the bones are laid bare. They are panting 
with their efforts and running with sweat, while the 
martyr on whom they vent their cruelty is calm. And 
amid it all Romanus even speaks of his owti motion, 
saying, " If you seek, sir, to learn the truth, all this 
mangling that is done to me is painless. What 
pains me is the superstition seated in your breast, 
and that you are dragging these lost multitudes with 
you. They come running in crowds from every 
point to see the sight, a pagan throng of people 
who move me to grief and woe, and tremble at the 
bloody warning of what befalls me. Hear ye all ! 
I cry afar and proclaim. I send forth my voice from 
the rack which raises me above you. Christ the 
brightness of the Father's glory, who is God, creator 
of the world and partaker with us also, promises 
eternal salvation to those who believe, the salvation 
of the soul, which alone does not perish but endures 
for ever and undergoes fortunes that differ : it either 
shines with light or is sunk in darkness ; if it has 
followed Christ, it enters into the Father's glory, 
but if it has separated itself from Christ it is delivered 
up to hell. I must be concerned about the kind of 
reward that will one day fall to me, — the reward 
that belongs to my eternal being, for I care little 
how the body dies, since it is to die at any rate 
by the law of its own nature ; destruction dogs 
it; let what must be dissolved be destroyed. It 
matters not whether it is fire and cords that vent 

261 



PRUDENTIUS 

an corpus aegrum languor asper torqueat, 
cum saepe morbos maior armet saevitas.^ 
non ungularum tanta vis latus fodit 
mucrone quanto dira pulsat pleurisis, 485 

nee sic inusta lamminis ardet cutis, 
ut febris atro felle venas exedit 
vel summa pellis ignis obductus coquit 
papulasque fervor aestuosus excitat : 
credas cremari stridulis cauteribus. 490 

miserum putatis, quod retortis pendeo 
extentus ulnis, quod revelluntur pedes, 
conpago nervis quod sonat crepantibus : 
sic eiulantes ossa clamant dividi, 
nodosa torquet quos podagra et artrisis. 495 

horretis omnes hasce carnificum manus. 
num mitiores sunt manus medentium, 
laniena quando saevit Hippocratica ? 
vivum secatur viscus et recens cruor 
scalpella tinguit dum putredo abraditur. 500 

putate ferrum triste chirurgos meis 
inferre costis, quod secat salubriter. 
non est amarum quo reformatur salus : 
videntur isti carpere artus tabidos, 
sed dant medellam rebus intus vividis. 505 

quis nescit autem quanta corruptela sit 
contaminatae carnis ac solubilis ? 
sordet, tumescit, liquitur, foetet, dolet, 
inflatur ira, solvitur libidine, 
plerumque felle tincta livores trahit. 510 



^ Bergman'' s MSS, have saevitia, which he keeps, but it is 
most unlikely that Prudeniius ended an iambic trimeter in this 
way. 

362 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

their fury, or a cruel weakness that racks the sick 
body, for many a time diseases are armed with a 
worse fury. The violence of the claws digging into 
one's side is less than the piercing pain with which 
the dire disease of the lungs assaults it. The skin 
when it is branded with the metal plates does not 
burn as hot as the fever that consumes the veins 
with its black gall, or the fire that spreads over the 
surface of the skin and roasts it, while the raging 
inflammation raises pustules and it is like being 
burned with hissing irons. You think it a wretched 
fate that I am hanging here stretched out, with my 
arms twisted behind me, that my feet are being 
pulled away from me and my joints make noises as 
the tendons crack ; but it is just the same when men 
cry out in distress that their bones are being torn 
asunder because knotty gout or arthritis tortures 
them. You all shudder at this handiwork of the 
executioners; but are doctors' hands gentler, when 
Hippocrates' <* cruel butchery is going on ? The 
living flesh is cut and fresh-drawn blood stains the 
lancets when festering matter is being scraped 
away. Fancy that the surgeons are putting the grim 
knife to my ribs and it is cutting me for the good of 
my health; that by which health is restored is not 
vexatious. These men appear to be rending my 
wasting limbs, but they give healing to the living 
substance within. And who does not know how great 
is the corruption of the impure mortal flesh ? It is 
filthy, it swells up, it runs, it stinks, it hurts, it is 
puffed up with anger, or unbridled in desire, often it is 
stained with gall and takes on dark-coloured spots. 

» The great Greek physician who lived in the 5th and 4th 
centuries b.c. 

263 



PRUDENTIUS 

aurum regestum nonne carni adquiritur ? 
inlusa vestis, gemma, bombyx, purpura 
in carnis usum mille quaeruntur dolis, 
luxus vorandi carnis arvinam fovet, 
carnis voluptas omne per nefas ruit. 515 

medere, quaeso, carnifex, tantis malis, 
concide, carpe fomitem peccaminum, 
fac ut resecto debilis carnis situ 
dolore ab omni mens supersit libera 
nee gestet ultra quod tyrannus amputet. 520 

nee terrearis turba circumstantium : 
hoc perdo solum quod peribit omnibus, 
regi, clienti, pauperique et diviti ; 
sic vernularum, sic senatorum caro 
tabescit imo cum sepulcro condita est. 525 

iactura vilis mordet et damnum leve 
si, quo carendum est, perdere extimescimus : 
cur, quod necesse est, non voluntas occupat ? 
natura cur non vertit in rem gloriae ? 
legale damnum deputemus praemiis, 530 

sed praemiorum forma quae sit fortibus 
videamus, ilia nempe quae numquam perit. 
caelo refusus subvolabit spiritus, 
Dei parentis perfruetur lumine 
regnante Christo stans in arce regia. 535 

quandoque caelum ceu liber plicabitur, 
cadet rotati solis in terram globus, 
spheram ruina menstrualem destruet ; 
Deus superstes solus et iusti simul 



allusiol^^ 



" Cf. Isaiah xxxiv, 4, Revelation vi, 13-14. The 
is to the ancient form of book, to which the term volumen 
properly appMes, the long roll of papyrus on which the writ- 
ing was in columns perpendicular to the length. The reader 
unrolled it with one hand and rolled it up with the other as 

264 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

Is not the gold that men pile up got for the flesh ? 
Garments fancifully embroidered, jewels, silk, purple, 
are sought after by a thousand artifices for the enjoy- 
ment of the flesh, indulgence in eating fosters the 
fatness of the flesh, and the pleasure of the flesh 
runs through the whole gamut of wickedness. Apply 
healing treatment to these great ills, I pray you, 
executioner. Cut up and rend that which is the 
prompter of sin. By cutting away the filthiness of 
the weakly flesh, bring about the survival of the spirit, 
free from all pain and wearing no longer anything for 
the oppressor to lop off. And have no fear, ye that 
stand round in your numbers. I only lose what all 
will lose, lord and vassal, poor and rich alike. In the 
same manner does the flesh of slaves and senators 
waste away when it is laid deep in the grave. It is a 
cheap sacrifice, a slight loss, which only galls us if we 
fear to lose that which we must part with. Why 
does not our will forestall necessity, and the order of 
-nature turn into the substance of glory? Let us 
account as a prize the loss which the law imposes. 
But let us see the shape of the prize which comes to 
the steadfast, one certainly which never perishes. 
The spirit, being restored to heaven, will fly upwards 
and enjoy the light of God the Father, standing in 
the royal court where Christ is king. One day the 
heavens will be rolled up like a book," the whirling 
sun's globe will fall upon the earth, the sphere that 
rules the months will be broken up in destruction, 
and God alone together with the righteous will be 

he went on, so that when it is " rolled up " he has finished 
it. By the time of Prudentius the codex, the form of book 
which we now call a " volume ", had come into fashion, and 
in the case of Christian books was predominant. 

265 



PRUDENTIUS 

cum sempiternis permanebunt angelis. 540 

contemne praesens utile, o prudens homo, 
quod terminandum, quod relinquendum est tibi ; 
omitte corpus, rem sepulcri et funeris ; 
tende ad futuram gloriam, perge ad Deum ; 
agnosce qui sis, vince mundum et saeculum." 545 

vixdum elocutus martyr banc peregerat 
orationem, cum furens interserit 
Asclepiades : " vertat ictum carnifex 
in OS loquentis, inque maxillas manum 
sulcosque acutos et fidiculas transferat. 550 

verbositatis ipse rumpatur locus, 
scaturrientes perdat ut loquacitas 
sermonis auras perforatis follibus, 
quibus sonandi nulla lex ponit modum ; 
ipsa et loquentis verba torqueri volo." 555 

inplet iubentis dicta lictor inpius ; 
charaxat ambas ungulis scribentibus 
genas, cruentis et secat faciem notis, 
hirsuta barbis solvitur carptim cutis, 
et mentum adusque vultus omnis scinditur. 560 

martyr fluentem fatur inter sanguinem : 
" grates tibi, o praefecte, magnas debeo, 
quod multa pandens ora iam Christum loquor. 
artabat ampli nominis praeconium 
meatus unus, inpar ad laudes Dei. 565 

rimas patentes invenit vox edita 
multisque fusa rictibus reddit sonos 
hinc inde plures, et profatur undique 
Christi Patrisque sempiternam gloriam. 
tot ecce laudant ora quot sunt vulnera." 570 

tali repressus cognitor constantia 
cessare poenam praecipit, tunc sic ait : 
" per solis ignes iuro, qui nostros dies 



266 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

left enduring, in company with the everlasting 
angels. Scorn the advantage of this present life, O 
wise man; it must come to an end, and you must 
leave it behind. Let the body go, for it belongs 
to burial in the grave. Set your course for the 
glory that shall be, go on towards God. Recognise 
what you are and overcome the world and the 
present order." 

Scarcely had the martyr come to the end of 
this address when Asclepiades in a furious rage 
broke in: " Let the executioner turn the stroke on 
to his mouth and stop his speech, to his jaws transfer 
hands and sharp cuts and cords. Shatter the seat of 
his verbosity, puncture the bellows so that his loqua- 
city may lose the gushing winds of words, since no 
law puts a stop to their sounding. I will have the 
very words tortured even as he speaks." The unholy 
lictor fulfils the word of command. Both cheeks he 
scores with lines drawn with the claws, tracing bleed- 
ing cuts on the face ; the bristly bearded skin is torn 
in pieces and the whole countenance cleft down to 
the chin. The martyr speaks as his blood flows: 
" Much thanks I owe you, sir, because now I open 
many mouths to speak of Christ. The single passage 
used to restrict the publishing of his mighty name ; 
it was too little for the praises of God. But now the 
voice I utter finds open fissures ; issuing by many a 
wide-open mouth, it delivers more sounds on this 
side and on that, all ways proclaiming the everlasting 
glory of Christ and the Father. For every wound I 
have, you see a mouth uttering praise." Checked 
by such firmness of spirit, the judge orders that the 
torture rest and then speaks thus : "I swear by the 
fires of the sun which by the interchanges of its 

267 



268 



PRUDENTIUS 

reciprocatis administrat circulis, 

cuius recursu lux et annus ducitur, 575 

ignes parandos iam tibi tristis rogi, 
qui fine digno corpus istud devorent, 
quod perseverans tam resistit nequiter 
sacris vetustis, nee dolorum spiculis 
victum fatiscit, fitque poenis fortius. 580 

quis hunc rigorem pectori iniecit stupor ? 
mens obstinata est, corpus omne obcalluit, 
tantus novelli dogmatis regnat furor : 
hie nempe vester Christus haud olim fuit, 
quern tu fateris ipse suffixum cruci." 585 

" haec ilia crux est omnium nostrum salus," 
Romanus inquit: " hominis haec redemptio est. 
scio incapacem te sacramenti, inpie, 
non posse caecis sensibus mysterium 
haurire nostrum : nil diurnum nox capit. 590 

tamen in tenebris proferam claram facem. 
sanus videbit, lippus oculos obteget. 
' removete lumen,' dicet insanabilis ; 
' iniuriosa est nil videnti claritas.' 
audi, profane, quod gravatus oderis. 595 

regem perennem rex perennis protulit 
in se manentem nee minorem tempore, 
quia tempus ilium non tenet ; nam fons retro 
exordiorum est et dierum et temporum, 
ex Patre Christus : hoc Pater, quod Filius. 600 

hie se videndum praestitit mortalibus, 
mortale corpus sumpsit inmortalitas, 
ut, dum caducum portat aeternus Deus, 
transire nostrum posset ad caelestia : 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

circles governs our days and by its returning draws 
out the course of the light and the year, that the 
fires of the grim pyre shall now be made ready for 
you to devour your body in the death it deserves, 
since with such wicked obstinacy it opposes the old 
established rites and does not give way in defeat 
under the sharp pricks of pain, but grows bolder 
through its sufferings. What insensibility has put 
this unbending spirit in your heart ? Your mind is 
stubborn and your whole body hardened against feel- 
ing ; so fanatical is the ruling spirit of this modern 
doctrine — for certainly this Christ of yours lived 
not long since, and you yourself admit that he was 
nailed on a cross." "It is that cross which is the 
salvation of us all," answers Romanus; " it is man's 
redemption. I know that you, godless man, cannot 
grasp the mystery ; because your understanding is 
blind you cannot imbibe our mystic doctrine ; the 
night is not receptive of anything that belongs to the 
day. Yet in the darkness I shall hold out a bright 
torch and he that is sound will see, while the purblind 
will cover his eyes. ' Take the light away,' he who is 
past healing will say ; ' the brightness is harmful 
to one who cannot see.' Listen, heathen, to that 
which you find objectionable and hateful. The king 
everlasting put forth the king everlasting, who abides 
in Him and is not younger in time, since time does 
not bound Him ; for He is the ultimate source of all 
beginnings and days and times, Christ born of the 
Father; and the Father is what the Son is. The 
Son manifested himself to be seen by mortal men, 
immortality putting on a mortal body, so that 
through the eternal God wearing a body subject to 
death ours should be enabled to pass to the heavens ; 

269 



PRUDENTIUS 

homo est peremptus et resurrexit Deus. 605 

congressa mors est membra gestanti Deo ; 
dum nostra temptat, cessit inmortalibus. 
stultum putatis hoc, sophistae saeculi ; 
sed stulta mundi summus elegit Pater, 
ut stultus esset saeculi prudens Dei. 610 

antiquitatem Romuli et Mavortiam 
lupam renarras, primum et omen vulturum. 
si res novellas respuis, nil tam recens : 
vix mille fastis inplet hanc aetatulam 
cursus dierum conditore ab augure. 615 

sescenta possum regna pridem condita 
proferre toto in orbe, si sit otium, 
multo ante clara quam capellam Gnosiam 
suxisse fertur luppiter, Martis pater, 
sed ilia non sunt, haec et olim non erunt. 620 

crux ista Christi, quam novellam dicitis, 
nascente mundo factus ut primum est homo, 
expressa signis, expedita est litteris : 
adventus eius mille per miracula 
praenuntiatus ore vatum consono. 625 

reges, prophetae, iudicesque et principes 
virtute, bellis, cultibus, sacris, stilo 
non destiterunt pingere formam crucis. 
crux praenotata, crux adumbrata est prius, 

" Which according to the legend nursed the infant Romulus 
and Remus when the basket in which they had been abandoned 
on the Tiber was washed ashore. 

* The augury of the twelve vultures which appeared to 
Romulus, against the six which appeared to Remus, showing 
the will of the gods that Romulus should be the king of the new 
city. 
270 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

the man was put to death and the God rose again. 
Death contended with God while He wore the body, 
but in attacking what belongs to us it retired before 
that which is immortal. You think this foolishness, 
you wise men of the world, but the supreme Father 
chose the foolish things of the world so that he who 
is foolish in respect of the world might be wise in 
the knowledge of God. You repeat the tale of an- 
cient days about Romulus and Mars' she-wolf* and 
the first omen of the vultures; ^ but if you reject 
events of modern times, there is nothing so recent as 
these. With scarce a thousand years the course of 
time fills up this short period from the augur who was 
our founder. I could tell you, if I had time, of plenty 
of kingdoms long ago established throughout the 
world, that were famous long before Jupiter, the 
father of Mars, was suckled, as they tell, by the 
Gnosian she-goat." But they are gone, and one day 
this present realm too will have gone. This cross of 
Christ which you call modern, when at the world's 
birth man was first created, was clearly shown by 
signs ^ and set forth in writings, and his coming was 
foretold through a thousand wonders by the mouth 
of prophets all in harmony. Kings, prophets, 
judges and rulers by their prowess and wars, their 
rites and oflTerings and their pen, did not cease to 
depict the form of the cross ; the cross was predicted, 
the cross was prefigured, those olden times absorbed 

* In Crete (c/. note on Contra Symm. II, 492) the Infant 
Jupiter was fed by the she-goat Amaltheia (Callimachus, 
Hymn I, 47-48). Another form of the story makes Amaltheia 
a nymph who fed him with goat's milk (c/. Ovid, Fasti, V, 
115 ff.). 

** CJ. for instance, the interpretation of the number 318 
in the preface to the Psychomachia. 

271 



PRUDENTIUS 

crucem vetusta conbiberunt saecula. 630 

tandem retectis vocibus propheticis 
aetate nostra conprobata antiquitas 
coram refulsit ore conspicabili, 
ne fluctuaret Veritas dubia fide, 
si non pateret teste visu comminus. 635 

hinc nos et ipsum non perire credimus 
corpus, sepulcro quod vorandum traditur, 
quia Christus in se mortuum corpus cruci 
secum excitatum vexit ad solium Patris, 
viamque cunctis ad resurgendum dedit. 640 

crux ilia nostra est, nos patibulum ascendimus, 
nobis peremptus Christus et nobis Deus 
Christus reversus, ipse qui moriens homo est, 
natura duplex : moritur et mortem domat, 
reditque in illud quod perire nesciat. 645 

dixisse pauca sit satis de mysticis 
nostrae salutis deque processu spei. 
iam iam silebo : margaritas spargere 
Christi vetamur inter inmundos sues, 
lutulenta sanctum ne terant animalia. 650 

sed quia profunda non licet luctarier 
ratione tecum, consulamus proxima : 
interrogetur ipsa naturalium 
simplex sine arte sensuum sententia : 
fuci inperitus fac ut adsit arbiter. 655 

da septuennem circiter puerum aut minus, 
qui sit favoris liber et non oderit 
quemquam nee ullum mentis in vitium cadat. 
periclitemur quid recens infantia 
dicat sequendum, quid novus sapiat vigor," 660 

hanc ille sancti martyris vocem libens 
amplexus unum de caterva infantium 
parvum nee olim lacte depulsum capi 



272 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

the idea of the cross. At last the words of the 
prophets were made plain and in our time antiquity 
was justified, shining before our eyes from a visible 
countenance, so that truth should not be uncertain 
and its reliability in doubt through not being dis- 
closed face to face, with the testimony of sight. The 
reason why we believe that even the body, though it 
is given up to be swallowed by the grave, does not 
perish, is that Christ raised up the body which died 
in Him on the cross and carried it with Him to the 
Father's throne, opening a way for all to rise again. 
That cross is ours, we mount the gibbet ; for m* 
Christ was put to death and for us Christ returned as 
God, He who in dying is man, a two-fold being; 
He dies and conquers death, and He returns to that 
which cannot die. Let these few words suffice 
about the mysteries of our salvation and the advance- 
ment of our hope. This moment I shall be silent; 
we are forbidden to scatter Christ's pearls among 
unclean swine, lest the miry beasts trample on that 
which is holy. But since I may not contend with you 
with deep reasoning, let us appeal to what lies at 
hand; let us inquire of the verdict of the natural 
understanding, which is straight-forward and artless ; 
let us have one to judge between us who knows no 
guile. Give me a boy of about seven years, or less, 
who will be free from favour or disfavour towards 
either, and not subject to any vitiated judgment. 
Let us see by experiment what young childhood 
says we should follow, what is the thought of the 
strong young mind." 

Asclepiades, readily adopting the holy martyr's 
proposal, ordered a little one not long weaned to 
be picked from the band of children and then 

273 



PRUDENTIUS 

captumque adesse praecipit. " quid vis roga," 
inquit, " sequamur quod probarit pusio." 665 

Romanus ardens experiri innoxiam 
lactantis oris indolem " filiole," ait, 
" die, quid videtur esse verum et congruens, 
unumne Christum colere et in Christo Patrem, 
an conprecari mille formarum deos ? " 670 

adrisit infans nee moratus rettulit : 
" est quidquid illud, quod ferunt homines Deum, 
unum esse oportet et quod uni est unieum. 
cum Christus hoe sit, Christus est verus Deus. 
genera deorum multa nee pueri putant." 675 

stupuit tyrannus sub pudore fluetuans ; 
nee vim deeebat innocenti aetatulae 
Inferre leges, nee loquenti talia 
furor sinebat efferatus pareere. 
" quis auctor," inquit, " vocis est huius tibi? " 

respondit ille : " mater, et matri Deus. 681 
ilia ex parente Spiritu docta inhibit 
quo me inter ipsa paseeret eunabula ; 
ego, ut gemellis uberum de fontibus 
lac parvus hausi, Christum et hausi credere." 

" ergo ipsa mater adsit," exelamat, " eedo," 
Asclepiades ; '* disciplinae et exitum 687 

tristem suae magistra spectet inpia, 
male eruditi torqueatur funere 
infantis orba, quemque corrupit fleat. 690 

absit ministros vilis ut muliereula 
nostros fatiget : quantulus autem dolor 
vexabit artus mortis auxilio brevis ! 
oculi parentis punientur aerius 
quam si cruentae membra earpant ungulae."695 

vix haec profatus pusionem praecipit 

» Cf. Hamart., 37-39. 



274 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

brought forward. " Ask him anything you please," 
he said ; " Let us conform to what the boy approves." 
Romanus, desiring strongly to make trial of the inno- 
cent suckling's native thought, said to him: "My 
little son, tell me, which do you think reasonable and 
fitting, — to worship the one Christ and in Christ the 
Father, or to pray to gods in a thousand shapes ? " 
The babe smiled and without hesitation answered : 
" Whatever it is that men call God must be one with 
the one only which belongs to the one.<* Since this is 
what Christ is, Christ is the true God ; even children 
do not suppose there are many sorts of gods." The 
oppressor was confounded and wavering between two 
courses in his shame ; it was not fitting that the 
law should lay violent hands on such innocent and 
tender years, but his wild rage would not let him 
spare one who spoke such words. " Who taught 
you," he asked, "to speak like this?" And the 
boy answered : " My mother, and God taught her. 
Instructed by the Spirit she drew from the Father 
that wherewith to feed me in my very infancy, and I 
in drinking as a babe the milk from the twin founts 
of her breasts drank in also the belief in Christ." 
" Then let the mother too come forward. Fetch 
her," cries Asclepiades. " Let the unnatural teacher 
look on at the melancholy outcome of her training. 
Let her be tortured by seeing the death of the ill- 
taught child she loses, and weep for the boy she has 
corrupted. Our officers must not spend their strength 
on a mere trumpery woman; and the pain that 
distresses his body will be but little, for death will 
shorten it, but the mother's eyes will suffer a sharper 
penalty than if the bloody claws plucked at her 
frame." No sooner said than he gave the word to 

275 



PRUDENTIUS 

sublime tollant et manu pulsent nates, 
mox et remota veste virgis verberent 
tenerumque duris ictibus tergum secent, 
plus unde lactis quam cruoris defluat. 700 

quae cautis illud perpeti spectaculum, 
quis ferre possit aeris aut ferri rigor ? 
inpacta quotiens corpus attigerat salix, 
tenui rubebant sanguine uda vimina, 
quern plaga flerat roscidis livoribus. 705 

ferunt minaces verberantium genas 
inlacrimasse sponte dimanantibus 
guttis per ora barbarum frementia, 
scribas et ipsos et coronam plebium 
proceresque siccis non stetisse visibus. 710 

at sola mater hisce lamentis caret, 
soli sereno frons renidet gaudio ; 
stat in piorum corde pietas fortior 
amore Christi contumax doloribus 
firmatque sensum mollis indulgentiae. 715 

sitire sese parvus exclamaverat : 
animae aestuantis ardor in cruciatibus 
hoc exigebat, lymphae ut haustum posceret : 
quern torva mater eminus triste intuens 
vultu et severis vocibus sic increpat : 720 

" puto inbecillo, nate, turbaris metu 
et te doloris horror adflictum domat. 
non hanc meorum viscerum stirpem fore 
Deo spopondi, non in hanc spem gloriae 
te procreavi, cedere ut leto scias. 725 

aquam bibendam postulas, cum sit tibi 
fons ille vivus praesto, qui semper fluit 
et cuncta solus inrigat viventia, 
intus forisque spiritum et corpus simul, 
aeternitatem largiens potantibus. 730 



276 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

lift the boy high up and slap his buttocks with their 
hands, then to take off his clothes and beat him with 
the switch, cutting his tender back with cruel strokes 
which were to draw from it more milk than blood. 
What rock could endure the sight, what unyielding 
brass or iron bear it ? At every stroke of the willow 
on his body the twigs were damp and red with 
the thin blood, which the stripe drew in showers 
from the dripping weals. They tell that the menacing 
cheeks of the men who were lashing him were wet 
with tears, for the drops flowed unbidden over their 
lips amid their savage growling, and there were no 
dry eyes even among the recorders and the ring of 
people and the chief men standing there. Only the 
mother showed none of this sorrowing, her brow 
alone was bright and clear with joy, for in the heart 
of the pious piety is the stronger force and from the 
love of Christ stands firm and unyielding in the face 
of pain, fortifying the emotion of tender fondness. 
The child cried out that he was thirsty, for the heat 
of his burning breath as the tortures went on com- 
pelled him to call for a draught of water ; but his 
stern mother, looking at him severely from her place 
apart, chid him with austere words: " I suppose, my 
son, you are upset by a weak fear and the dread of 
the pain casts you down and overcomes you. This is 
not what I promised God the child of my body would 
be, this is not the hope of glory for which I bore 
you, that you should be able to retreat before death ! 
You ask for water to drink, though you have near by 
the living spring which ever flows and alone waters 
all that has life, within and without, spirit and body 
both, bestowing immortality on those who drink. 



277 



PRUDENTIUS 

venies ad illud mox fluentum, si modo 
animo ac medullis solus ardor aestuet 
videre Christum, quod semel potum adfatim 
sic sedat omnem pectoris flagrantiam 
vita ut beata iam sitire nesciat. 735 

hie, hie bibendus, nate, nunc tibi est calix, 
mille in Bethleem quern biberunt parvuli : 
oblita lactis et papillarum inmemor 
aetas amaris, mox deinde dulcibus 
refecta poclis mella sumpsit sanguinis. 740 

exemplum ad istud nitere, o fortis puer, 
generosa prolis, matris et potentia. 
omnes capaces esse virtutum Pater 
mandavit annos, neminem excepit diem, 
ipsis triumphos adnuens vagitibus. 745 

scis, saepe dixi, cum docenti adluderes 
et garrulorum signa verborum dares, 
Isaac fuisse parvulum patri unicum, 
qui, cum inmolandus aram et ensem cerneret, 
ultro sacranti colla praebuerit seni. 750 

narravi et illud nobile ac memorabile 
certamen, una matre quod septem editi 
gessere pueri, sed tamen factis viri, 
hortante eadem matre in ancipiti exitu 
poenae et coronae sanguini ut ne parcerent. 755 

videbat ipsos apparatus funerum 
praesens suorum nee movebatur parens 
laetata quotiens aut olivo stridula 
sartago frixum torruisset puberem 
dira aut eremasset lamminarum inpressio. 760 

comam cutemque vertieis revulserat 
a fronte tortor, nuda testa ut tegmine 
cervieem adusque dehonestaret caput ; 



278 



» II Maccabees vii. Cf. Perist. v, 523 S. 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

You will soon reach that stream if only in your heart 
and inmost being your one eager, ardent longing is to 
see Christ, and one draught of it is ample to allay all 
the burning of the breast so that the blessed life can 
no longer thirst. This, this, my son, is the cup you 
now must drink. A thousand little ones in Beth- 
lehem drank of it; forgetting their milk, with no 
thought of the breast, their life was restored by 
bitter cups that turned to sweet, partaking of blood 
that was changed into honey. Strive after this 
example, my brave boy, my noble child, your 
mother's greatness. The Father has ordained that 
all ages should be capable of courageous deeds, no 
time of life excepted, for He grants triumphs even to 
infancy. You know, for I have often told you, when 
you used to turn my lessons into play and prattle 
sounds that stood for words, that Isaac was a little 
boy, his father's only child, and how, when he was 
to be sacrificed and saw the altar and the sword, of his 
own will he stretched out his neck to the old man 
who was making the offering. I have told you too of 
that famous and notable contest carried on by the 
seven sons of one mother " — lads they were, but 
grown men in their deeds, — when, though they faced 
a desperate issue, this same mother urged them not 
to spare the blood that was shed in suffering to win 
the crown. Their mother saw unmoved before her 
eyes the very instruments ready for the death of her 
sons, and was glad when the pan with its hissing oil 
fried and scorched one of her lads, or the dreadful 
pressing on of the metal plates burned them. The 
torturer tore away the hair and skin of the head from 
the brow backwards, so that the bare skull uncovered 
down to the neck should dishonour it, and she cried : 

279 



PRUDENTIUS 

clamabat ilia : ' patere ; gemmis vestiet 
apicem hunc corona regio ex diademate.' 765 

linguam tyrannus amputari iusserat 
uni ex ephebis ; mater aiebat : ' satis 
iam parta nobis gloria est ; pars optima 
Deo inmolatur ecce nostri corporis ; 
digna est fidelis lingua quae sit hostia. 770 

interpres animi, enuntiatrix sensuum, 
cordis ministra, praeco operti pectoris, 
prima offeratur in sacramentum necis 
et sit redemptrix prima membrorum omnium ; 
ducem dicatam mox sequentur cetera.' 775 

his Maccabeos incitans stimulis parens 
hostem subegit subiugatum septies, 
quot feta natis, tot triumphis inclyta ; 
me partus unus ut feracem gloriae, 
mea vita, praestet, in tua est situm manu. 780 

per huius alvi fida conceptacula, 
per hospitalem mense bis quino larem, 
si dulce nostri pectoris nectar tibi, 
si molle gremium, grata si crepundia, 
persiste et horum munerum auctorem adsere. 

quanam arte nobis vivere intus coeperis, 786 
nihilumque et illud, unde corpus, nescio ; 
novit animator solus et factor tui. 
inpendere ipsi, cuius ortus munere es ; 
bene in datorem quod dedit refuderis." 790 

talia canente matre iam laetus puer 
virgas strepentes et dolorem verberum 
ridebat. hie turn cognitor pronuntiat : 
" claudatur infans carcere et tanti mali 
Romanus auctor torqueatur acrius." 795 



280 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

' Bear it, for a crown will clothe this head in jewels 
with a king's diadem.' The oppressor commanded 
the tongue of one of the young lads to be cut 
out, and his mother said : ' Now we have won 
glory enough, for lo, the best part of our body is 
being sacrificed to God. The faithful tongue is 
worthy to be an offering. The mind's spokesman, 
which declares our sentiments, the heart's servant, 
which proclaims the silent thoughts of our breast, 
let it be offered first for the celebration of the 
mystery of death, and be the first to redeem all the 
members, and then the rest will follow their dedi- 
cated leader.' With these incentives their mother 
urged on the Maccabean brothers and seven times 
overcame and subdued the foe, winning the fame of 
as many victories as she had borne sons. That one 
birth shall make me fruitful in glory it lies in your 
hands, my life, to secure. By this faithful womb 
which conceived you, the home where for ten 
months you sojourned, if the nectar of my breast was 
sweet to you, if you lay softly in my bosom and your 
infancy was happy, be steadfast and maintain the 
cause of Him who is the author of these blessings. 
How your life began within me, that nothingness 
from which your body grew, I know not; only He 
who quickened you, He who is your creator, knows. 
Devote yourself to Him by whose gift you were born. 
You will do well if you restore to the giver that which 
He gave." 

Cheered now by this recital of his mother's, the 
boy was laughing at the sounding switch and the 
pain of the blows ; whereupon the inquisitor pro- 
nounces judgment: " Let the child be shut up in 
prison, and Romanus, who is responsible for all this 

281 



PRUDENTIUS 

ilium recentes per cicatricum vias 
denuo exarabant, quaque acutum traxerant 
paulo ante ferrum, mox recrudescentibus 
plagis apertas persequebantur notas, 
q'uos iam superbus victor ignavos vocat. 800 

" o non virile robur, o molles manus ! 
unam labantis dissipare tarn diu 
vos non potesse fabricam corpusculi ! 
vix iam cohaeret, nee tamen penitus cadit. 
vincens lacertos dexterarum inertium. 805 

citius cadaver dentibus carpunt canes, 
longeque morsus vulturum efficacior 
ad devorandas carnis ofFas mortuae. 
languetis inbelli fame ac fatiscitis, 
gula est ferina, sed socors edacitas." 810 

exarsit istis turbida ira iudicis 
seque in supremam concitat sententiam ; 
" si te morarum paenitet, finem citum 
subeas licebit : ignibus vorabere 
damnatus et favilla iam tenuis fies." 815 

abiens at ille, cum foro abriperent virum 
truces ministri, pone respectans ait : 
" appello ab ista, perfide, ad Christum meum 
crudelitate, non metu mortis tremens, 
sed ut probetur esse nil quod iudicas." 820 

" quid difFerOj" inquit ille, " utrosque perdere, 
puerum ac magistrum, conplices sectae inpiae ? 
gladius recidat vile vix hominis caput 
infantis, istum flamma vindex concremet, 
sit his sub uno fine dispar exitus." 825 

perventum ad ipsum caedis inplendae locum, 
natum gerebat mater amplexu et sinu, 



282 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

mischief, be put to sharper torture." Along the 
paths of the cuts but lately made they began to 
plough afresh ; where a little while before they had 
drawn the sharp steel, they were following its open 
tracks and making the wounds bleed again ; but now 
in the pride of victory he calls them sluggards. 
"What want of manly strength! What delicate 
hands ! To think that in this long time you have 
failed to demolish the fabric of one poor perishing 
body ! Scarcely any longer does it hold together, yet 
it does not fall utterly, for it defeats the powers of 
your feckless hands. Dogs are quicker to tear a 
corpse with their teeth, and the bites of vultures far 
more potent for devouring bits of carrion. You are 
weary and faint, your hunger lacks spirit ; you have a 
wild beast's voracity but your appetite is sluggish! " 
At these words the judge's angry passion blazed up 
and rushed precipitately to final sentence : "If you 
are not pleased with the delays, you may suffer a 
speedy end. You are condemned to be devoured 
by fire and will soon be reduced to fine ashes." But 
Romanus, as the grim officers were hurrying him 
from the court, looked back as he went and said: 
" I appeal from your cruelty, infidel, to my own 
Christ, not that I tremble with the fear of death, 
but that your judgment may be proved to be 
nothing." " Why not at once destroy them both," 
said the judge, " the boy and his teacher, since they 
are confederates in their impious doctrine ? Let the 
sword cut off the trumpery head of the child, scarce 
man, and avenging fire consume this other ; let them 
have different ends but die together." 

They reached the place where sentence of death 
was to be executed, the mother carrying her son in 

283 



PRUDENTIUS 

ut primitivum crederes fetum geri 

Deo ofFerendum sancti Abelis ferculo, 

lectum ex ovili, puriorem ceteris. 830 

puerum poposcit carnifex, mater dedit, 
nee inmorata est fletibus, tantum osculum 
inpressit unum : " vale," ait, " dulcissime, 
et cum beatus regna Christi intraveris, 
memento matris, iam patrone ex filio." 835 

dixit : deinde dum ferit cerviculam 
percussor ense, docta mulier psallere 
hymnum canebat carminis Davitici : 
' pretiosa sancti mors sub aspectu Dei, 
tuus ille servus, prolis ancillae tuae.' 840 

talia retexens explicabat pallium 
manusque tendebat sub ictu et sanguine, 
venarum ut undam profluam manantium 
et palpitantis oris exciperet globum : 
excepit, et caro adplicavit pectori. 845 

at parte campi ex altera inmanem pyram 
texebat ustor fumidus pinu arida, 
sarmenta mixtim subdita et faeni struem 
spargens liquato rore ferventis picis, 
quo flamma pastu cresceret ferocius. 850 

et iam retortis bracchiis furca eminus 
Romanus actus ingerebatur rogo : 
" scio," inquit ille, " non futurum ut concremer, 
nee passionis hoc genus datum est mihi, 
et restat ingens quod fiat miraculum." 855 

haec eius orsa sequitur inmensus fragor 
nubis ruentis, nimbus undatim nigro 



" Cf. Psalm cxv, 6-7 in the Vulgate, cxvi, 15-16 in the 
EngUsh A.V. 

284 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

her arms on her bosom, like the firstling carried in 
holy Abel's basket to be offered to God, one chosen 
out of the fold and purer than the rest. The execu- 
tioner called for the boy and his mother gave him 
up. Wasting no time on tears, she pressed but one 
kiss on him, saying: " Farewell, my sweetest, and 
when in blessedness you enter Christ's kingdom, 
remember your mother, changing from son to 
patron." So she spoke, and while the headsman 
struck the little neck with the sword the woman (for 
she was trained in music) sang a hymn, a song of 
David: " Precious is the death of a holy one in the 
sight of God ; he is thy servant, the son of thine 
handmaid." " While repeating the words, she 
spread out her robe and stretched forth her hands 
beneath the stroke and the blood to catch the stream 
that ran from the flowing veins, and the round head 
as the mouth breathed its last ; and catching it she 
pressed it to her fond breast. On the other side of 
the ground the smoke-grimed officer in charge of 
burning was building up a monstrous pyre with dry 
pinewood, sprinkling with a stream of hot molten pitch 
the fagots that he laid underneath among the logs, 
and the dried grass that was piled up, so as to feed the 
flame and make it spread more fiercely. And now 
Romanus, his arms twisted away behind him with the 
fork,^ had been brought up, and as he was being set 
on the pyre he said: " I know that I shall not be 
burned. This kind of passion is not appointed for 
me, and there is yet a great miracle to be performed." 
On these words of his there followed the tremendous 
crash of a cloud-burst, and the rain-storm falling in 

' A V-shaped instrument of wood which was placed on a 
culprit's shoulders and to which his arms were tied behind. 

285 



PRUDENTIUS 

praeceps aquarum flumine ignes obruit. 

alunt olivo semiconbustas faces, 

sed vincit imber iam madentem fomitem. 860 

trepidare taeter carnifex rebus novis 
turbatus, et qua posset arte insistere, 
versare torres cum favillis umidis, 
prunas maniplis confovere stuppeis 
et semen ignis inter undas quaerere. 865 

quod cum tumenti nuntiatum iudici, 
commovit ^ iram fellis inplacabilis : 
" quousque tandem summus hie nobis magus 
inludet," inquit, " Thessalorum carmine 
poenam peritus vertere in ludibrium ? 870 

fortasse cervix, si secandam iussero 
flecti sub ensem, non patebit vulneri : 
vel amputatum plaga collum dividens 
rursus coibit ac reglutinabitur, 
umerisque vertex eminebit additus. 875 

temptemus igitur ante partem quampiam 
truncare ferro corporis superstitis, 
ne morte simpla criminosus multiplex 
cadat vel una perfidus caede oppetat : 
quot membra gestat, tot modis pereat volo. 880 

libet experiri, Lerna sicut traditur, 
utrum renatis pullulascat artubus, 
ac se inminuti corporis damnis novum 
instauret : ipse praesto erit tunc Hercules 
hydrina suetus ustuire vulnera. 885 

iam nunc secandi doctus adsit artifex, 
qui cuncta norit viscerum confinia 

^ Some MSB., including B, have movisset. 



' Thessaly had a reputation for witchcraft. 



286 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

a headlong stream overpowered the fires with a black 
river of water. They fed the dying brands with oil, 
but the rain had already soaked the kindling-wood 
and prevailed over it. The hideous executioner, 
agitated and upset by this new situation, persevered 
with all the devices he could, stirring the brands and 
the wet embers, nursing the live billets with handfuls 
of tow, searching for a spark of fire amid the water. 
When this was reported to the angry judge it raised 
his bitter, implacable wrath. " How long," he 
asked, " is this great sorcerer to make game of us 
through his skill in turning punishment to mockery 
with a Thessalian ** spell ? Perhaps his neck, if I 
order that it bend to receive the sword-stroke, will 
prove impervious to the blow, or the wound that 
cuts it in two will heal and join again, and his head 
be set on his shoulders and stand erect. Let us first 
try, therefore, cutting off some part of his body with 
the steel and leaving the rest alive, so that this man 
of many crimes may not fall by one single death, 
this traitor perish by one act of bloodshed. I will 
have him die as many deaths as he has members. 
I should like to try whether, as in the tale of Lerna,^ 
he sprouts out parts that grow again, renewing him- 
self by the losses that impair his body. In that 
case a very Hercules will be here who is accustomed 
to burning a hydra's wounds. This moment let a 
skilled master of the knife attend, one who knows 
how to take apart all the contiguities of the flesh, 

* One of the " labours " of Hercules was to kill the hydra 
or water-snake which haunted the swamps of Lema, near 
Argos. It had many heads, and for every one that Hercules 
cut off another (or in some accounts two more) grew, till his 
companion lolaoa hit on the plan of burning the stump with 
a fire-brand. 

287 



PRUDENTIUS 

vel nexa nervis disparate vincula. 

date hunc, revulsis qui medetur ossibus 

aut fracta nodis sarciens conpaginat. 890 

linguam priorem detrahat radicitus, 
quae corpore omni sola vivit nequior ; 
ilia et procaci pessima in nostros deos 
invecta motu fas profanavit vetus, 
audax et ipsi non pepereit principi." 895 

Aristo quidam medicus accitus venit, 
proferre linguam praecipit : profert statim 
martyr retectam, pandit ima et faucium ; 
ille et palatum tractat et digito exitum 
vocis pererrans vulneri explorat locum. 900 

linguam deinde longe ab ore protrahens 
scalpellum in usque guttur insertans agit. 
illo secante fila sensim singula 
numquam momordit martyr aut os dentibus 
conpressit artis nee cruorem sorbuit. 905 

inmotus et patente rictu constitit 
dum sanguis extra defluit scaturriens ; 
perfusa pulcher menta russo stemmate 
fert et cruenti pectoris spectat decus 
fruiturque et ostro vestis ut iam regiae. 910 

praefectus ergo ratus elinguem virum 
cogi ad sacrandum posse, cum verbis carens 
nil in deorum blateraret dedecus, 
iubet reduci iam tacentem ac debilem 
multo loquentis turbine olim territus. 915 

reponit aras ad tribunal denuo 
et tus et ignem vividum in carbonibus 
taurina et exta vel suilla abdomina : 
ingressus ille, ut hos paratus perspicit, 
insufflat, ipsos ceu videret daemonas. 920 



288 



A way of exorcising evil spirits. 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

all the fast attachments of the tendons. Produce the 
man who heals dislocated bones or ties them together 
and mends them when they are broken. First let 
him remove the tongue by its roots, for it is the very 
wickedest organ in the whole body ; with its im- 
pudent wagging it has both violated our long- 
established divine law by a most foul attack upon our 
gods, and been so presumptuous as not even to spare 
the emperor." One Aristo, a doctor, is sent for and 
comes. He bids Romanus put out his tongue, and at 
once the martyr puts it out from cover, exposing his 
throat to its depths ; and the doctor feels the palate, 
exploring the voice's outlet vtith his finger and seek- 
ing for the place to make the wound, then drawing 
the tongue far out from the mouth he puts his lancet 
inside, right down to the gullet. While he was 
gradually cutting the filaments one by one, the 
martyr never bit nor let his teeth meet to close his 
mouth, nor swallowed blood. Firm and unmoved 
he stood with jaws wide open while* the blood ran 
gushing out, a noble figure with his chin overspread 
with the red emblem of glory, looking at the honour- 
able stain of blood on his breast and finding satis- 
faction in the thought that the scarlet on his garment 
has made it kingly. The prefect then, thinking that 
a tongueless man could be forced to offer sacrifice, 
since for lack of speech he could not prate against the 
honour of the gods, ordered him to be brought back, 
silent now and disabled, whereas before his great 
blast of speech had scared him. He set up the altar 
again by his judgment-seat, with incense, and fire 
glowing on the coals, bull's entrails and swine's 
paunch, but Romanus on coming in and seeing these 
preparations, blew on them * as if he were seeing very 

289 

VOL. II. L 



PRUDENTIUS 

inridet hoc Asclepiades laetior, 
addit deinde : " numquid inclementius, 
sicut solebas, es paratus dicere ? 
efFare quidvis ac perora et dissere. 
permitto vocem libere ut exerceas." 925 

Romanus alto corde suspirans diu 
gemitu querellam traxit et sic orsus est : 
" Christum loquenti lingua numquam defuit, 
nee verba quaeras quo regantur organo, 
cum praedicatur ipse verborum dator. 930 

qui fecit ut vis vocis expressa intimo 
pulmone et oris torta sub testudine 
nunc ex palato det repercussos sonos, 
nunc temperetur dentium de pectine, 
sitque his agendis lingua plectrum mobile, 935 

si mandet idem faucium sic fistulas 
spirare flatu concinentes consono 
ut verba in ipsis explicent meatibus, 
vel exitu oris cymbalis profarier 
nunc pressa parce labra, nunc hiantia, 940 

dubitasne verti posse naturae statum, 
cui facta forma est, qualis esset primitus ? 
hanc nempe factor vertere, ut libet, potest 
positasque leges texere ac retexere, 
linguam loquella ne ministram postulet. 945 

vis scire nostri numinis potentiam ? 
fluctus liquentis aequoris pressit pede : 
natura fluxa ac tenuis in solidum coit, 
quam dispar illis legibus quis condita est ! 
solet natatus ferre, fert vestigia. 950 

habet usitatum munus hoc divinitas 
quae vera nobis colitur in Christo et Patre, 
mutis loquellam, percitum claudis gradum, 

" The instriuuent used for striking the strings of the lyre. 



290 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

devils. Asclepiades, his spirits raised, laughed in 
scorn at this, and then said: " Are you ready with 
your rough speech, as you used to be ? Speak out 
as you please, hold forth at length, discourse. I 
give you leave to use your voice unhindered." 
Romanus, heaving a long, deep sigh, a long-drawn 
groan of protest, thus began: " Tongue never failed 
him who spoke of Christ, and you need not ask what 
organ controls the speech when it is the giver of 
speech himself who is proclaimed. He who brought 
it to pass that the potency of the voice, forced out 
from the depths of the lung and launched in the vault 
of the mouth, now gives out sounds that reverberate 
from the palate, and again is modified by the row 
of teeth, and that for these processes the tongue 
plays the part of the nimble quill," — should He also 
ordain that the throat blow like a set of pipes in 
concert with harmonious breath so as to make articu- 
late words in the passages themselves, or that in the 
orifice of the mouth the lips utter speech by being 
now slightly closed and again opened vdde, like a pair 
of cymbals, do you doubt that the system of nature, 
since its original plan was a creation, can be changed ? 
Naturally its creator can change it as He pleases, 
making and unmaking established laws, so that 
speech shall not demand the agency of a tongue. 
Would you know the might of our God ? When He 
places his foot on the waters of the flowing sea, its 
thin, unstable substance sets in a solid mass — how 
unlike the laws under which it was created ! It is 
wont to bear up swimmers, but now it bears up foot- 
steps ! It is a familiar power of the true divine nature 
which we worship in Christ and the Father, to restore 
speech to the dumb, a quick step to the lame, the 

291 



PRUDENTIUS 

surdis fruendam reddere audientiam, 
donare caecis lucis insuetae diem. • 

haec si quis amens fabulosa existimat, 
vel ipse tute si parum fidelia 
rebare pridem, vera cognoscas licet : 
habes loquentem, cuius amputaveras 
linguam : probatis cede iam miraculis." 

horror stupentem persecutorem subit 
timorque et ira pectus in caliginem 
vertere ; nescit vigilet anne somniet, 
miratur haerens quod sit ostenti genus, 
formido frangit, armat indignatio. 

nee vim domare mentis efFrenae potest, 
nee quo furoris tela vertat invenit. 
postremo medicum saevus insontem iubet 
reum citari ; nundinatum hunc arguit 
mercede certa pactus ut conluderet : 

aut ferrum in ore nil agens et inritum 
versasse frustra seu retunsis tactibus 
aut arte quadam vulnus inlatum breve, 
quod sauciata parte linguam laederet 
nervos nee omnes usquequaque abscideret. 

manere salvam vocis harmoniam probe 
non posse, inani concavo verba exprimi, 
quae concrepare ligula moderatrix facit. 
esto ut resultet spiritus vacuo specu, 
echo sed extat inde, non oratio. 

veris refutat medicus hanc calumniam : 
" scrutare vel tu nunc latebras faucium, 
intraque dentes curiosum pollicem 
circumfer, haustus vel patentes inspice, 
lateatne quidquam quod regat spiramina. 



292 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

benefit of hearing to the deaf, and give to the blind 
the unwonted light of day. If any man is fool enough 
to think these things are fabulous, or if you yourself 
formerly judged them unworthy of belief, you may 
learn that they are real : you have here a man 
speaking after you have cut his tongue out. Yield 
now to miracles you have proved ! " The persecutor 
is aghast, his blood curdling; fear and wrath have 
turned his mind to darkness and he knows not 
whether he is awake or dreaming. At a loss, he 
wonders what kind of portent this may be. Dread 
breaks him down, disdainful anger spurs him on. He 
cannot control the unbridled impulse of his heart, 
nor yet find where to aim the weapons of his rage. 
In the end he fiercely orders the innocent doctor to 
be brought before him and charged, accusing him of 
having been bought over and having agreed, for a 
definite payment, to join in a fraud; either he 
applied a useless, ineffectual, blunt-edged knife to 
no purpose in the mouth, or by some trick inflicted a 
small cut, to do damage to the tongue only as far as 
to wound it in one place, without cutting away all the 
tendons throughout; it is quite impossible for the 
articulate sound of the voice to be preserved and 
words to be uttered, if the vault were empty, 
since it is the tongue's control that makes them 
sound. Granted that the breath reverberates in the 
unoccupied cavity, still it is a mere repercussion of 
sound that results, not speech. The doctor rebuts 
the false charge with the truth, saying: " Examine 
the recesses of the throat now for yourself; carry an 
inquiring thumb round about inside the teeth, or 
look into the open jaws, and see if there remains 
concealed anything to govern the breath. After 

293 



PRUDENTIUS 

quamquam forassem forte si puncto levi 
tenuive linguam contigissem vulnere, 
titubante plectro fatus esset debilis. 
nam cum magistra vocis in vitium cadit, 
usus necesse est et loquendi intercidat. 990 

fiat periclum, si placet, cuiusmodi 
edat querellam quadrupes lingua eruta, 
elinguis et quem porca grunnitum strepat ; 
cui vox fragosa, clamor est inconditus, 
probabo mutam nil sonare stridulum. 995 

testor salutem principis me simplici 
functum secantis arte, iudex optime, 
servisse iussis absque fraude publicis. 
sciat hie quis illi verba suggillet deus : 
ego unde mutus sit disertus nescio." 1000 

his sese Aristo purgat, at contra inpium 
nil haec latronem Christianorum movent ; 
magis magisque fertur in vesaniam, 
quaerit alienus sanguis ille asperserit 
virum, suone fluxerit de vulnere. 1005 

respondit his Romanus : " eccum, praesto sum : 
meus iste sanguis verus est, non bubulus. 
agnoscis ilium quem loquor, miserrime 
pagane, vestri sanguinem sacrum bovis, 
cuius litata caede permadescitis ? 1010 

summus sacerdos nempe sub terram scrobe 
acta in profundum consecrandus mergitur, 
mire infulatus, festa vittis tempora 



" The rite which Prudentius goes on to describe, and for 
the details of which this passage is the principal source of 
information, was known as taurobolium, and was associated 
with the worship of the Magna Mater and of Mithras. The 
practice of it spread widely through the West from the 2nd 

294 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

all, had I only pricked the tongue with a trifling 
puncture or touched it with a shght wound, its beating 
would have faltered and disabled the speech, for 
when the mistress of the voice contracts a fault the 
exercise of speech also must be lost. Let us make 
trial, if you will, what sort of growl a four-footed 
beast utters when its tongue is rooted out, what sort 
of grunt a tongueless pig makes. , I shall prove that 
an animal with a harsh voice and an inarticulate cry 
makes never a shriek when it is dumb. By the life 
of the emperor I swear I practised my surgical 
art honestly, most excellent judge, and without 
deception obeyed the orders of authority. It is for 
this man to know what god is supplying him with 
words ; for my part, how a dumb man comes to be 
fluent I know not." 

With these words Aristo tried to clear himself, 
but they moved the godless persecutor of the 
Christians not at all, and he rushed more and more 
into a mad rage. He asked whether that was some- 
one else's blood which bespattered Romanus, or 
whether it flowed from a wound of his own. To this 
Romanus answered: " Here I am before you. This 
is truly my own blood, not that of an ox. Do you 
realise, unhappy pagan, the blood I speak of, — the 
sacred blood of your ox, in the sacrificial slaughter of 
which you soak yourselves ? " The high priest, you 
know, goes down into a trench dug deep in the ground 
to be made holy, wearing a strange headband, his 
temples bound with its fillets for the solemnity, 

century onwards, and is attested by many inscriptions. The 
person who went through the ceremony beheved himself to be 
" reborn for eternal life." See Dill, pp. 82-83, Bailey, 
pp. 202-203. 

295 



PRUDENTIUS 

nectens, corona turn repexus aurea, 

cinctu Gabino sericam fultus togam. 1015 

tabulis superne strata texunt pulpita 
rimosa rari pegmatis conpagibus, 
scindunt subinde vel terebrant aream 
crebroque lignum perforant acumine, 
pateat minutis ut frequens hiatibus. 1020 

hue taurus ingens fronte torva et hispida 
sertis revinctus aut per armos floreis 
aut inpeditis cornibus dedueitur, 
nee non et auro frons coruscat hostiae, 
saetasque fulgor brattealis inficit. 1025 

hie ut statuta est inmolanda belua, 
pectus sacrato dividunt venabulo ; 
eructat amplum vulnus undam sanguinis 
ferventis, inque texta pontis subditi 
fundit vaporum flumen et late aestuat. 1030 

turn per frequentes mille rimarum vias 
inlapsus imber tabidum rorem pluit, 
defossus intus quern sacerdos excipit 
guttas ad omnes turpe subiectans caput 
et veste et omni putrefactus corpore. 1035 

quin OS supinat, obvias ofFert genas, 
supponit aures, labra, nares obicit, 
oculos et ipsos perluit liquoribus, 
nee iam palato parcit et linguam rigat, 
donee cruorem totus atrum conbibat. 1040 

postquam cadaver sanguine egesto rigens 
conpage ab ilia flamines retraxerint, 
procedit inde pontifex visu horridus, 
ostentat udum verticem, barbam gravem, 
vittas madentes atque amictus ebrios, 1045 

" A manner of wearing the toga which was observed in 
connection with sacrifice and some other solemn occasions. 
296 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

and his hair clasped with a golden crown, while his 
silken robe is held up with the Gabine girdle." 
Above him they lay planks to make a stage, leaving 
the timber-structure open, with spaces between ; and 
then they cut and bore through the floor, perforating 
the wood in many places with a sharp-pointed tool so 
that it has a great number of little openings. Hither 
is led a great bull with a grim, shaggy brow, wreathed 
with garlands of flowers about his shoulders and 
encircling his horns, while the victim's brow glitters 
with gold, the sheen of the plates tinging his rough 
hair. When the beast for sacrifice has been stationed 
here, they cut his breast open with a consecrated 
hunting-spear and the great wound disgorges a 
stream of hot blood, pouring on the plank-bridge 
below a steaming river which spreads billowing out. 
Then through the many ways afforded by the 
thousand chinks it passes in a shower, dripping a foul 
rain, and the priest in the pit below catches it, 
holding his filthy head to meet every drop and getting 
his robe and his whole body covered with corruption. 
Laying his head back he even puts his cheeks in the 
way, placing his ears under it, exposing lips and 
nostrils, bathing his very eyes in the stream, not 
even keeping his mouth from it but wetting his 
tongue, until the whole of him drinks in the dark 
gore. After the blood is all spent and the officiating 
priests have drawn the stiff carcase away from the 
planking, the pontiff comes forth from his place, a 
grisly sight, and displays his wet head, his matted 
beard, his dank fillets and soaking garments. De- 

A part of it which was normally thrown over the left shoulder 
was carried round the waist instead. Why this was called 
Gabine is unknown. 

297 



PRUDENTIUS 

hunc inquinatum talibus contagiis, 
tabo recentis sordidum piaculi, 
omnes salutant atque adorant eminus, 
vilis quod ilium sanguis et bos mortuus 
foedis latentem sub cavernis laverint. 

addamus illam, vis, hecatomben tuam, 
centena ferro cum cadunt animalia, 
variaque abundans caede restagnat cruor, 
vix ut cruentis augures natatibus 
possint meare per profundum sanguinis ? 

sed quid macellum pingue pulvinarium, 
quid maximorum lancinatores gregum 
eviscerata came crudos criminor ? 
sunt sacra quando vosmet ipsi exciditis, 
votivus et cum membra detruncat dolor. 

cultrum in lacertos exerit fanaticus 
sectisque Matrem bracchiis placat deam, 
furere ac rotari ius putatur mysticum ; 
parca ad secandum dextra fertur inpia, 
caelum meretur vulnerum crudelitas. 

ast hie metenda dedicat genitalia, 
numen reciso mitigans ab inguine 
ofFert pudendum semivir donum deae : 
illam revulsa masculini germinis 
vena effluenti pascit auctam sanguine. 

uterque sexus sanctitati displicet, 
medium retentat inter alternum genus, 
mas esse cessat ille, nee fit femina. 
felix deorum mater inberbes sibi 



298 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

filed as he is with such pollution, all unclean with the 
foul blood of the victim just slain, they all stand 
apart and give him salutation and do him reverence 
because the paltry blood of a dead ox has washed 
him while he was ensconced in a loathsome hole in 
the ground. Will you have me speak also of that 
hecatomb of yours, when a hundred beasts at a time 
fall by the knife and the gore from all the separate 
slaughters swells into a flood, so that the augurs 
almost have to swim to make their way through the 
sea of blood ? But why do I protest against that rich 
store of meat for feasting gods,*' and the butchers who 
cut up those great herds and are all bloody with dis- 
embowelling the flesh ? There are rites in which you 
mutilate yourselves and maim your bodies to make 
an offering of the pain. A worshipper possessed 
thrusts the knife into his arms and cuts them to 
propitiate the Mother goddess. Frenzy and wild 
whirling are thought to be the rule of her mysteries. 
The hand that spares the cutting is held to be un- 
dutiful, and it is the barbarity of the wounds that 
earns heaven. Another makes the sacrifice of his 
genitals ; appeasing the goddess by mutilating his 
loins, he unmans himself and offers her a shameful 
gift ; the source of the man's seed is torn away to 
give her food and increase through the flow of 
blood. Both sexes are displeasing to her holiness, 
so he keeps a middle gender between the two, 
ceasing to be a man without becoming a Avoman. 
The Mother of the Gods has the happiness of getting 

" At the ceremony of the lectisternium (first introduced at 
Rome from Greece in 399 b.c.) images of gods were placed on 
cushioned couches (pulvinaria) and a meal was laid before 
them. 

299 



PRUDENTIUS 

parat ministros levibus ^ novaculis. 1075 

quid, cum sacrandus accipit sphragitidas ? 
acus minutas ingerunt fornacibus, 
his membra pergunt urere, ut igniverint ; 
quamcumque partem corporis fervens nota 
stigmarit, hanc sic consecratam praedicant. 1080 

functum deinde cum reliquit spiritus 
et ad sepulcrum pomipa fertur funeris, 
partes per ipsas inprimuntur bratteae ; 
insignis auri lammina obducit cutem, 
tegitur metallo, quod perustum est ignibus.1085 

has ferre poenas cogitur gentilitas, 
hac di coercent lege cultores suos : 
sic daemon ipse ludit hos quos ceperit, 
docet execrandas ferre contumelias, 
tormenta inuri mandat infeHcibus. 1090 

at noster iste sanguis ex vestra fluit 
crudeHtate, vos tyrannide inpia 
exulceratis innocentum corpora, 
si vos sinatis, incruente vivimus, 
at si cruente puniamur, vincimus. 1095 

sed iam silebo ; finis instat debitus, 
finis malorum, passionis gloria ; 
iam non licebit, inprobe, ut licuit modo, 
torquere nostra vel secare viscera ; 
^ cedas necesse est victus et iam desinas." 1100 

" cessabit equidem tortor et sector dehinc," 
iudex minatur " sed peremptoris manus 
succedet ilHs, strangulatrix faucium ; 
aliter silere nescit oris garruli 
vox inquieta, quam tubam si fregero." 1105 

dixit, foroque protrahi iussit virum, 

^ So most of the early editors, but Bergman'' s MSS. have leni- 
bus, which he and Dressel keep. The oldest MS, A is not available, 

30Q 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

herself beardless ministers with a well-ground razor ! 
And there is the time when the aspirant to holiness 
receives the seal ; they put little needles in furnaces 
and then, as soon as they have made them red-hot, 
burn their bodies with them, and whatever part of the 
body is branded with the mark of the hot iron they 
claim to be thus consecrated. Later on, when the 
man is dead and the spirit has left him and the 
funeral procession is passing to the tomb, plates are 
laid along these same parts, a splendid sheet of gold 
spreads over the skin, and what was burned with 
fire is covered with metal. Such are the sufferina-s 
pagans are compelled to bear, such the law their 
gods impose on their worshippers ; this is how the 
devil himself makes sport of those whom he has 
taken captive, teaching them to suffer accursed 
indignities and ordaining that marks of torture be 
branded on his luckless victims. But this blood of 
ours flows from your barbarity ; it is you pagans who 
by your godless cruelty make sores on the bodies 
of innocent men. If you let us alone, we live without 
shedding of blood; but if we are made to suffer 
bloodshed we vvdn the victory. But now I shall say 
no more ; the appointed end is near, the end of all my 
ills, the glory of my passion. No longer, you 
monster, will you be allowed, as you have just been, 
to rack and cut my flesh ; you must needs retire 
beaten and give up the contest." 

" Backer and cutter will indeed give up from now," 
was the judge's menacing answer, " but the killer's 
hand will take their place and strangle you. The 
restless voice in your chattering mouth can only be 
silenced if I break its pipe." So speaking, he 
ordered Romanus to be dragged from the court and 

301 



PRUDENTIUS 

trudi in tenebras noxialis carceris ; 

elidit illic fune collum martyris 

lictor nefandus. sic peracta est passio; 

anima absoluta vinculis caelum petit. 1110 

gesta intimasse cuncta fertur principi 
praefectus addens ordinem voluminum 
seriemque tantae digerens tragoediae : 
laetatus omne crimen in fasces refert 
suum tyrannus chartulis vivacibus. 1115 

illas sed aetas conficit diutina, 
fuligo fuscat, pulvis obducit situ, 
carpit senectus aut ruinis obruit : 
inscripta Christo pagina inmortalis est, 
nee obsolescit ullus in caelis apex. 1120 

excepit adstans angelus coram Deo 
et quae locutus martyr et quae pertulit, 
nee verba solum disserentis condidit, 
sed ipsa pingens vulnera expressit stilo 
laterum, genarum pectorisque et faucium. 1125 

omnis notata est sanguinis dimensio, 
ut quamque plagam sulcus exaraverit, 
altam, patentem, proximam, longam, brevem, 
quae vis doloris, quive segmenti modus ; 
guttam cruoris ille nullam perdidit. 1130 

hie in regestis est liber caelestibus, 
monumenta servans laudis indelebilis, 
relegendus olim sempiterno iudici, 
libramine aequo qui maloi'um pondera 
et praemiorum conparabit copias. 1135 

vellem sinister inter haedorum greges, 
ut sum futurus, eminus dinoscerer 
atque hoc precante diceret rex optimus : 
" Romanus orat ; transfer hunc haedum mihi ; 
sit dexter agnus, induatur vellere." 1140 



302 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, X 

thrust into the darkness of the penal prison-house, 
and there with a cord an atrocious lictor broke his 
neck. So ended his passion, and his soul, freed from 
its bondage, passed to heaven. 

They say the governor reported all the facts to the 
emperor, with a series of scrolls in which he laid out 
in order all the details of this great tragic drama, the 
oppressor cheerfully entering all his own wickedness 
in packets of records on sheets that were meant to 
last. But those the long passage of time destroys, 
they are blackened with grime or covered with dust 
where they lie undisturbed, old age tatters them or 
buries them under ruins ; whereas the page that 
Christ has written upon is deathless and in heaven 
not a letter fades away. An angel standing in the 
presence of God took down all that the martyr said 
and all he bore, and not only recorded the words of his 
discourse but with his pen drew exact pictures of 
the wounds on his sides and cheeks and breast and 
throat. The measure of blood from each was noted, 
and how in each case the gash ploughed out the 
wound, whether deep or wide or on the surface, long 
or short, the violence of the pain, the extent of the 
cut; no drop of blood did he let go for nought. 
This book is in the heavenly register, preserving the 
records of glory imperishable, and to be read again 
one day by the everlasting Judge, who with just 
balance will match the weight of woe and the 
abundance of reward. Would that I, standing as I 
shall be on the left among the flocks of goats, might 
be picked out from afar and at Romanus' petition the 
King most excellent might say: " Romanus prays 
for him. Bring this goat over to me ; let him stand 
on my right hand as a lamb and be clothed in a fleece." 

303 



PRUDENTIUS 



XI 

Ad Valerianum Episcopum de Passione 
HippoLYTi Beatissimi Martyris. 

Innumeros cineres sanctorum Romula in urbe 

vidimus, o Christi Valeriana sacer. 
incisos tumulis titulos et singula quaeris 

nomina : difficile est ut replicare queam. 
tantos iustorum populos furor inpius hausit, 5 

cum coleret patrios Troia Roma decs, 
plurima litterulis signata sepulcra loquuntur 

martyris aut nomen aut epigramma aliquod, 
sunt et muta tamen tacitas claudentia tumbas 

marmora, quae solum significant numerum. 10 

quanta virum iaceant congestis corpora acervis 

nosse licet, quorum nomina nulla legas. 
sexaginta illic defossas mole sub una 

reliquias memini me didicisse hominum, 

" The tradition of Hippolytus as here presented is very 
uncertain. He seems indeed certainly to have been the 
theologian whose burial-place on the Via Tiburtina is known, 
and who was a presbyter at Rome, where he was opposed to 
bishop Callistus. In 235 he was banished to Sardinia, and it 
is commonly supposed that he died there soon afterwards. 
Prudentius seems to have derived his statements partly from 
an inscription set up by Damasus (Pope 366-384) at the 
burial-place (see Anthologiae Latinae Supplementum, Damasi 
Epigrammata, ed. Ihm, Leipzig, 1895, no. 37), partly from a 
picture which he saw there (c/. lines 123 ff.). Damasus him- 
self says that he relied on purely oral tradition which he does 
not guarantee (" haec audita refert Damasus; probat omnia 
Christus "). He attributes to Hippolytus, as does Prudentius 
(19 ff.), adherence to the Novatian schism, which he is said to 
have repudiated on his way to martyrdom ; this would imply 
that he returned from exile and lived till the middle of the 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 



XI 

To Bishop Valerian on the Passion of the 
Most Blessed Martyr Hippolytus." 

Countless are the graves of saints I have seen in 
the city of Romulus, Valerian, Christ's dedicated 
servant. You ask for the inscriptions cut on their 
tombs, and their individual names, but it is hard 
for me to be able to repeat them. Such great 
multitudes of the righteous did ungodly rage devour 
while Trojan Rome still worshipped the gods of her 
fathers. Many a grave is lettered and tells the 
martyr's name or bears some epitaph, but there are 
mute marbles too, which shut up the tombs in silence 
and only indicate the number; you may learn what 
masses of men's bodies lie gathered together in 
heaps, but read the name of none of them. I 
remember finding that the remains of sixty persons 
were buried there under one massive stone, whose 

century. Damasus says nothing about the manner of his 
death. There is no reason to doubt that Prudentius saw and 
correctly interpreted the picture which represented him as 
having been torn to pieces by wild horses, like the Hippo- 
lytus of the Greek mythology (see Contra Symm., II, 53 ff.), 
but the picture may have owed its inspiration only to the 
identity of the name. There is also confusion in Prudentius, 
though not in Damasus, with a martyr Hippolytus of Portus 
(39 f.), who is mentioned in the Martyrology falsely ascribed 
to Jerome. Portus was a town which had grown up round 
the new harbour begun by Claudius and completed by 
Trajan, north of Ostia. For discussions see d'Ales, La 
TMologie de S. Hippolyte (Paris, 1906), pp. xi flF., AUard, Lea 
Dernieres Persecutions du III"^ Siecle (4th ed. Paris, 1924), 
Appendices E and F, Lavarenne, Prudence (Paris, 1951), IV, 
pp. 159 ff. 



PRUDENTIUS 

quorum solus habet conperta vocabula Christus, 15 

utpote quos propriae iunxit amicitiae. 
haec dum lustro oculis et sicubi forte latentes 

rerum apices veterum per monumenta sequor, 
invenio Hippolytum, qui quondam scisma Novati 

presbyter attigerat nostra sequenda negans, 20 
usque ad martyrii provectum insigne tulisse 

lucida sanguinei praetnia supplicii. 
nee mirere senem perversi dogmatis olim 

munere ditatum catholicae fidei. 
cum iam vesano victor raperetur ab hoste 25 

exultante anima carnis ad exitium, 
plebis amore suae multis comitantibus ibat. 

consultus quaenam secta foret melior, 
respondit : " fugite, o miseri, execranda Novati 

scismata, catholicis reddite vos populis. 30 

una fides vigeat, prisco quae condita templo est, 

quam Paulus retinet quamque cathedra Petri, 
quae docui, docuisse piget : venerabile martyr 

cerno, quod a cultu rebar abesse Dei." 
his ubi detorsit laevo de tramite plebem 35 

monstravitque sequi qua via dextra vocat, 
seque ducem recti spretis anfractibus idem 

praebuit, erroris qui prius auctor erat, 
sistitur insano rectori Christicolas tunc 

ostia vexanti per Tiberina viros. 40 

illo namque die Roma secesserat, ipsos 



" The dispute had to do mainly with the question whether, 
and on what conditions, persons who had lapsed could be 
re-admitted to communion. Novatus stood for rigour. 

* The harbour at Portus (now some distance from the sea) 
was connected with the Tiber by a new cut, but no doubt the 
whole district, including Ostia, is meant. CJ. 151. 

306 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

names Christ alone knows, since He has added them 
to the company of his friends. In surveying these 
memorials and hunting over them for any letters 
telling of the deeds of old, that might escape the eye, 
I found that Hippolytus, who had at one time as a 
presbyter attached himself to the schism of Novatus," 
saying that our way was not to be followed, had been 
advanced to the crown of martyrdom and won the 
shining reward for suffering bloodshed. Nor is it 
surprising that an old man who had once been a 
follower of a vicious doctrine was enriched with a 
gift which belongs to the orthodox faith. When he 
won his triumph and with exulting spirit was being 
carried off by a furious enemy to suffer the death of 
the flesh, because of his people's love he was accom- 
panied by many on the way ; and being asked which 
teaching was the better he answered: " O my poor 
friends, shun the accursed schism of Novatus and 
return to the orthodox people. Let the faith be 
strong in its unity, the faith that was established in 
the early Church and which Paul and the chair of 
Peter hold fast. What I taught, I regret having 
taught ; now that I am bearing witness I see that 
what I thought foreign to the worship of God is 
worthy of reverence." With these words he turned 
the people away from the path on the left and 
bade them follow where the way on the right 
calls, presenting himself as their guide on the 
straight road and rejecting all windings, the very 
man who was formerly the cause of their going 
astray. Then he was brought before a maddened 
ruler who at that time was afflicting Christian 
heroes by Tiber's mouth ; ^ for that day he had 
left Rome to beat down with persecution the 

307 



PRUDENTIUS 

peste suburbanos ut quateret populos, 
non contentus humum celsae intra moenia Romae 

tinguere iustorum caedibus assiduis. 
laniculum cum iam madidum, fora, rostra, Suburam 

cerneret eluvie sanguinis affluere, 46 

protulerat rabiem Tyrrheni ad litoris oram 

quaeque loca aequoreus proxima portus habet. 
inter carnifices et constipata sedebat 

officia extructo celsior in solio. 50 

discipulos fidei detestahdique rebelles 

idolii ardebat dedere perfidiae. 
carcereo crinita situ stare agmina contra 

iusserat horrendis excrucianda modis. 
inde catenarum tractus, hinc lorea flagra 55 

stridere, virgarum concrepitare fragor. 
ungula fixa cavis costarum cratibus altos 

pandere secessus et lacerare iecur. 
ac iam lassatis iudex tortoribus ibat 

in furias cassa cognitione fremens, 60 

nullus enim Christi ex famulis per tanta repertus 

supplicia, auderet qui vitiare animam. 
inde furens quaesitor ait : " iam, tortor, ab unco 

desine ; si vana est quaestio, morte agito. 
huic abscide caput, crux istum tollat in auras 65 

viventesque oculos offerat alitibus. 
hos rape praecipites et vinctos conice in ignem, 

sit pyra quae multos devoret una reos. 
en tibi quos properes rimosae inponere cumbae, 

pellere et in medii stagna profunda freti. 70 

quos ubi susceptos rabidum male suta per aequor 

vexerit et tumidis caesa labarit aquis, 

" The rostra proper was a platform for speakers in the 
Forum Bomanum, so called because it was decorated with 
beaks of ships taken from the Antiates in 338 B.C. 

308 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

peoples of the near-by districts, not being content 
to wet the ground within the walls of lofty Rome 
with constant slaying of the righteous. Seeing the 
Janiculum now soaked, and squares, platforms, * the 
Subura flooded with pools of blood, he had carried his 
rage out to the Tyrrhenian coast and the parts that 
lie nearest to the seaport. Amid his executioners 
and close-packed staff he was sitting on a chairof state 
elevated above them, burning to make the disciples 
of the faith, who would not give in to abominable 
idolatry, forswear themselves. Trains of them, their 
hair grown long and dirty from lying in prison, 
he had ordered to stand before him, to suffer frightful 
tortures. Here sounded the grating of the chains 
they dragged, there the crack of leathern lashes, 
or the crashing of the rods, while the claw pierced 
the hollow framework of their ribs, laying open deep 
cavities and tearing their vitals. And now the 
tormentors were weary and the judge passing into a 
furious rage at the futility of the trial, for not one of 
the servants of Christ was found in all the course of 
their sufferings, who would dare to taint his soul. 
So the inquisitor, grown frantic, said: " Drop the 
claw now, torturer. If the torture has no effect, 
proceed by death. Behead this one ; let the cross 
lift that one into the air and present his living eyes 
to the birds ; bundle those off, bind them and cast 
them into the fire; let there be a pyre that will 
consume many prisoners at one time. Here are 
some whom you will put at once on board a leaky 
boat and drive out to the deep water in the midst of 
the sea; and when the crazy boat has carried her 
passengers over the raging waves and gives way 
under the blows of the swelling waters, her deck- 

309 



PRUDENTIUS 

dissociata putrem laxent tabulata carinam 

conceptumque bibant undique naufragium. 
squamea caenoso praestabit ventre sepulcrum 75 

belua consumptis cruda cadaveribus." 
haec persultanti celsum subito ante tribunal 

ofFertur senior nexibus inplicitus. 
stipati circum iuvenes clamore ferebant 

ipsum Christicolis esse caput populis : 80 

si foret extinctum propere caput, omnia vulgi 

pectora Romanis sponte sacranda deis. 
insolitum leti poscunt genus et nova poenae 

inventa, exemplo quo trepident alii, 
ille supinata residens cervice : " quis," inquit, 85 

" dicitur? " adfirmant dicier Hippolytum. 
" ergo sit Hippolytus, quatiat turbetque iugales, 

intereatque feris dilaceratus equis." 
vix haec ille, duo cogunt animalia freni 

ignara insueto subdere colla iugo, 90 

non stabulis blandive manu palpata magistri 

imperiumque equitis ante subacta pati, 
sed campestre vago nuper pecus e grege captum, 

quod pavor indomito corde ferinus agit. 
iamque reluctantes sociarant vincula bigas, 95 

oraque discordi foedere nexuerant. 
temonis vice funis inest, qui terga duorum 

dividit et medius tangit utrumque latus, 
deque iugo in longum se post vestigia retro 

protendens trahitur, transit et ima pedum. 100 

310 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

timbers shall part and open out the rotten bottom, 
so that she will let in water at all points and 
founder. Some scaly monster, gorged with the 
bodies it has devoured, will furnish them a grave 
in its foul belly." 

While he was loudly giving these orders, an elderly 
man enveloped in bonds was suddenly presented 
before the high judgment-seat, and the young men 
who crowded round were crying out that he was the 
head of the hosts which worshipped Christ, and if the 
head were promptly destroyed, all the hearts of the 
multitude must freely dedicate themselves to the 
gods of Rome. They called for some unusual kind of 
death, some newly devised penalty to make an 
example for the terror of others. The judge, sitting 
with head thrown back, asked : " What is he called ? " 
and they stated that he was called Hippolytus. 
" Hippolytus let him be, then. Let him get a team 
frightened and agitated and be torn to death by 
wild horses." His words were hardly spoken when 
they forced two animals that had never known the 
bridle to submit their necks to the strange yoke. They 
were not brought from the stable nor ever had been 
stroked by a caressing trainer's hand and broken in 
to suffer a rider's government, but were beasts of the 
field lately caught out of a wandering herd, their 
untamed spirits excited by a wild creature's nervous- 
ness. Already the struggling pair were harnessed 
together, their heads joined in discordant partner- 
ship. Instead of a pole there was a rope separating 
the bodies of the two, running between them and 
touching the flanks of both ; and from the yoke it 
stretched out a long way back, trailing behind their 
tracks, reaching beyond their hooves. To the end 

3^^ 



PRUDENTIUS 

huius ad extremum, sequitur qua pulvere summo 

cornipedum refugas orbita trita vias, 
crura viri innectit laqueus nodoque tenaci 

adstringit plantas cumque rudente ligat. 
postquam conposito satis instruxere paratu 105 

martyris ad poenam verbera, vincla, feras, 
instigant subitis clamoribus atque flagellis, 

iliaque infestis perfodiunt stimulis. 
ultima vox audita senis venerabilis haec est : 

" hi rapiant artus, tu rape, Christe, animam." 110 
prorumpunt alacres caecoque errore feruntur, 

qua sonus atque tremor, qua furor exagitant. 
incendit feritas, rapit impetus et fragor urget, 

nee cursus volucer mobile sentit onus, 
per silvas, per saxa ruunt, non ripa retardat 115 

fluminis aut torrens oppositus cohibet. 
prosternunt saepes et cuncta obstacula rumpunt, 

prona, fragosa petunt, ardua transiliunt. 
scissa minutatim labefacto corpore frusta 

carpit spinigeris stirpibus hirtus ager. 120 

pars summis pendet scopulis, pars sentibus haeret, 

parte rubent frondes, parte madescit humus, 
exemplar sceleris paries habet inlitus, in quo 

multicolor fucus digerit omne nefas. 
picta super tumulum species liquidis viget umbris 

effigians tracti membra cruenta viri. 126 

rorantes saxorum apices vidi, optime papa, 

purpureasque notas vepribus inpositas. 

312 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

of it, where the rut it made on the surface of the 
dusty ground followed the changing course of the 
runaway horses, a noose fastened Hippolytus' legs, 
binding his feet tight with a gripping knot and tying 
them to the rope. 

Now that all was got ready and the needful whips 
and harness and wild horses provided for the martyr's 
suffering, they set them on with sudden shouts and 
lashes, and violently dug the pricks into their sides. 
These were the last words heard from the venerable 
old man : " Let these ravish my body, but do Thou, 
O Christ, ravish my soul." Off go the horses head- 
long, rushing about blindly wherever the din and 
their quivering nerves and frantic excitement drive 
them, spurred by their wild spirit, carried on by their 
dash, impelled by the noise, and in their swift career 
unconscious of the burden that goes with them. 
Through woods and over rocks they rush, no river- 
bank keeps them back, no torrent in their way checks 
them. They lay fences low and break through every 
obstacle ; down slopes and over broken ground 
they go, and bound over the steep places. The body 
is shattered, the thorny shrubs which bristle on the 
ground cut and tear it to little bits. Some of it 
hangs from the top of rocks, some sticks to bushes, 
with some the branches are reddened, with some the 
earth is wet. 

There is a picture of the outrage painted on a wall, 
showing in many colours the wicked deed in all its 
details ; above the tomb is depicted a lively likeness, 
portraying in clear semblance Hippolytus' bleeding 
body as he was dragged along. I saw the tips of 
rocks dripping, most excellent Father, and scarlet 
stains imprinted on the briers, where a hand that 

313 



PRUDENTIUS 

docta manus virides imitando effingere dumos 

luserat e minio russeolam saniem. 130 

cernere erat ruptis conpagibus ordine nullo 

membra per incertos sparsa iacere situs, 
addiderat caros gressu lacrimisque sequentes, 

devia quo fractum semita monstrat iter, 
maerore attoniti atque oculis rimantibus ibant, 135 

inplebantque sinus visceribus laceris. 
ille caput niveum conplectitur ac reverendam 

canitiem molli confovet in gremio ; 
hie umeros truncasque manus et bracchia et ulnas 

et genua et crurum fragmina nuda legit. 140 

palliolis etiam bibulae siccantur harenae, 

ne quis in infecto pulvere ros maneat. 
si quis et in sudibus recalenti aspergine sanguis 

insidet, hunc omnem spongia pressa rapit. 
nee iam densa sacro quidquam de corpore silva 145 

obtinet aut plenis fraudat ab exequiis. 
cumque recensetis constaret partibus ille 

corporis integri qui fuerat numerus, 
nee purgata aliquid deberent avia toto 

ex homine extersis frondibus et scopulis, 150 

metando eligitur tumulo locus : ostia linquunt, 

Roma placet, sanctos quae teneat cineres. 
haud procul extremo culta ad pomeria vallo 

mersa latebrosis crypta patet foveis : 
huius in occultum gradibus via prona reflexis 155 

ire per anfractus luce latente docet. 
primas namque fores summo tenus intrat hiatu 

" See note on 40. 

* The pomerium was properly a line within the wall, which 
marked the boundary within which auspices could be taken. 
From this the name was applied to the strip of land between 
the line and the wall, and further extended to include a strip 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

was skilled in portraying green bushes had also 
figured the red blood in vermilion. One could see 
the parts torn asunder and lying scattered in dis- 
order up and down at random. The artist had 
painted too his loving people walking after him in 
tears wherever the inconstant track showed his zig- 
zag course. Stunned with grief, they were searching 
with their eyes as they went, and gathering the 
mangled flesh in their bosoms. One clasps the snowy 
head, cherishing the venerable white hair on his 
loving breast, while another picks up the shoulders, 
the severed hands, arms, elbows, knees, bare frag- 
ments of legs. With their garments also they wipe 
dry the soaking sand, so that no drop shall remain to 
dye the dust; and wherever blood adheres to the 
spikes on which its warm spray fell, they press a 
sponge on it and carry it all away. 

Now the thick wood held no longer any part of 
the sacred body, nor cheated it of a full burial. The 
parts were reviewed and found to make the number 
belonging to the unmutilated body ; the pathless 
ground being cleared, and the boughs and rocks 
wiped dry, had nothing of the whole man still to 
give up ; and now a site was chosen on which to set a 
tomb. They left the river-mouth," for Rome found 
favour with them as the place to keep the holy 
remains. Not far outside the wall, near the belt * of 
cultivation just beyond it, yawns a cave which goes 
deep down in dark pits. Into its hidden depths a 
downward path shows the way by turning, vidnding 
steps, with the help of light from a source unseen ; 
for the light of day enters the first approach as far as 

on the outside as well. (C/. Varro, De Lingiui Latina, V, 
143, Livy, I, 44, 4-6.) 



PRUDENTIUS 

inlustratque dies limina vestibuli. 
inde ubi progressu facili nigrescere visa est 

nox obscura loci per specus ambiguum, 160 

occurrunt celsis ^ inmissa foramina tectis, 

quae iaciant claros antra super radios, 
quamlibet ancipites texant hinc inde recessus 

arta sub umbrosis atria porticibus, 
at tarn en excisi subter cava viscera mentis 165 

crebra terebrato fornice lux penetrat. 
sic datur absentis per subterranea solis 

cernere fulgorem luminibusque frui. 
talibus Hippolyti corpus mandatur opertis, 

propter ubi adposita est ara dicata Deo. 170 

ilia sacramenti donatrix mensa eademque 

custos fida sui martyris adposita 
servat ad aeterni spem vindicis ossa sepulcro, 

pascit item Sanctis Tibricolas dapibus. 
mira loci pietas et prompta precantibus ara 175 

spes hominum placida prosperitate iuvat. 
hie corruptelis animique et corporis aeger 

oravi quotiens stratus, opem merui. 
quod laetor reditu, quod te, venerande sacerdos, 

conplecti licitum est, scribo quod haec eadem, 180 
Hippolyto scio me debere, Deus cui Christus 

posse dedit, quod quis postulet, adnuere. 
ipsa, illas animae exuvias quae continet intus, 

aedicula argento fulgurat ex solido. 
praefixit tabulas dives manus aequore levi 185 

candentes, recavum quale nitet speculum, 
nee Pariis contenta aditus obducere saxis 

^ So Bergman's M8S. ; editions before Bergman^ a have caesis 
(" cut "). 

" See Allard, op. cit., Appendix D. * Marble. 

316 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

the top of the cleft and illumines the entrance ; 
then as you go forward easily you see the dark night 
of the place fill the mysterious cavern with blackness, 
but you find openings let into the roof far above, so 
as to throw bright rays down into the chasm. How- 
ever doubtful you may feel of this fabric of narrow 
halls running back on either hand in darksome 
galleries, still through the holes pierced in the vault 
many a gleam of light makes its way down to the 
hollow interior of the disembowelled mount, and 
thus underground it is granted to see the brightness 
of a sun which is not there, and have the benefit of 
its light. Such is the place of concealment to which 
the body of Hippolytus was committed* and by it 
has been set an altar dedicated to God. That table 
both gives the sacrament and is set there as faithful 
guardian of its martyr; it keeps his bones in the 
tomb for the hope of their everlasting deliverer and 
feeds the dwellers on Tiber's banks with the holy food. 
Wonderful is the grace that attaches to the spot, and 
the altar, ever ready to receive its suppliants, 
fosters the hopes of men with kindly favour. When- 
ever I bowed in prayer here, a sick man diseased in 
soul and body both, I gained help. My glad return, 
my chance to embrace you, reverend priest, my 
writing these very words, I know that I owe to 
Hippolytus, to whom Christ our God has given power 
to grant one's request. The shrine itself which 
holds within it that body which the soul sloughed 
off, gleams with massive silver. On its front a rich 
hand has fixed plates whose smooth surface has a 
sheen like the brightness of a concave mirror, and 
not content to cover the approach with stones of 
Paros,'* has added shining precious metals to orna- 

317 



PRUDENTIUS 

addidit ornando clara talenta operi. 
mane salutatum concurritur : omnis adorat 

pubis ; eunt, redeunt solis ad usque obitum, 190 
conglobat in cuneum Latios simul ac peregrines 

permixtim populos religionis amor, 
oscula perspicuo figunt inpressa metallo, 

balsama defundunt, fletibus ora rigant. 
iam cum se renovat decursis mensibus annus 195 

natalemque diem passio festa refert, 
quanta putas studiis certantibus agmina cogi, 

quaeve celebrando vota coire Deo ? 
urbs augusta suos vomit efFunditque Quirites, 

una et patricios ambitione pari 200 

confundit plebeia phalanx umbonibus aequis 

discrimen procerum praecipitante fide, 
nee minus Albanis acies se Candida portis 

explicat et longis ducitur ordinibus. 
exultant fremitus variarum hinc inde viarum, 205 

indigena et Picens plebs et Etrusca venit. 
concurrit Samnitis atrox, habitator et altae 

Campanus Capuae, iamque Nolanus adest. 
quisque sua laetus cum coniuge dulcibus et cum 

pigneribus rapidum carpere gestit iter. 210 

vix capiunt patuli populorum gaudia campi, 

haeret et in magnis densa cohors spatiis. 
angustum tantis illud specus esse catervis 

baud dubium est, ampla fauce licet pateat. 
Stat sed iuxta aliud, quod tanta frequentia templum 

tunc adeat cultu nobile regifico, 216 

parietibus celsum sublimibus atque superba 

318 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

ment the work. In the morning people assemble to 
pay their respects ; all that are grown up do rever- 
ence, coming and going till set of sun. The love of 
their religion masses Latins and strangers together 
in one general body. They print kisses on the clear 
metal, they pour down balsams, and wet their faces 
with their tears. And then when the months have 
run their course and the year begins afresh, when the 
festival of his passion brings again its anniversary, 
can you imagine what multitudes gather with 
emulous zeal, what prayers join together to honour 
God? The majestic city disgorges her Romans 
in a stream; with equal ardour patricians and 
plebeian host are jumbled together shoulder to 
shoulder, for the faith banishes distinctions of birth ; 
and equally from Alba's gates the white-robed troops 
deploy and pass on in long lines. Loud sounds of 
rejoicing rise from diverse roads leading from 
different places ; natives of Picenum and the people 
of Etruria come ; the fierce Samnite and the Cam- 
panian dweller in lofty Capua meet together, and 
men of Nola too are there, everyone in happy mood 
with wife and dear children and eager to get quickly 
on the way. Scai-cely can the broad plains hold the 
joyous multitudes ; the close-packed company sticks 
fast even in the wide spaces. For these great 
throngs the cavern is clearly too confined, for all the 
wideness of its mouth. But there stands close by 
another church ,« renowned for its princely decoration, 
for the great multitude to enter then, a lofty church 
with towering walls, and a great one by reason of 

" This development was necessary in the case of many 
martyrs for the accommodation of the large numbers of 
pilgrims. See Allard, op. cit., pp. 365 ff. 



PRUDENTIUS 

maiestate potens muneribusque opulens. 
ordo columnarum geminus laquearia tecti 

sustinet auratis suppositus trabibus. 220 

adduntur graciles tecto breviore recessus, 

qui laterum seriem iugiter exsinuent. 
at medios aperit tractus via latior alti 

culminis exsurgens editiore apice. 
fronte sub adversa gradibus sublime tribunal 225 

tollitur, antistes praedicat unde Deum. 
plena laborantes aegre domus accipit undas, 

artaque confertis aestuat in foribus, 
maternum pandens gremium, quo condat alumnos 

ac foveat fetos adcumulata sinus. 230 

si bene commemini, colit hunc pulcherrima Roma 

Idibus Augusti mensis, ut ipsa vocat 
prisco more diem, quern te quoque, sancte magister, 

annua festa inter dinumerare velfan. 
crede, salutigeros feret hie venerantibus ortus 235 

lucis honoratae praemia restituens. 
inter sollemnes Cypriani vel Chelidoni 

Eulaliaeque dies currat et iste tibi. 
sic te pro populo, cuius tibi credita vita est, 

orantem Christus audiat omnipotens ; 240 

sic tibi de pleno lupus excludatur ovili, 

agna nee ulla tuum capta gregem minuat ; 
sic me gramineo remanentem denique campo 

» The basilica, a type of public building of which there 
were many examples in pre-Christian Rome and other towns, 
serving as meeting-places for citizens, courts of justice and for 

320 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XI 

its proud grandeur, and gifts have made it rich. A 
double row of pillars supporting gilded beams 
holds up the panelled roof, and there are also 
slender aisles with lower roof which stand back and 
widen the sides all along their length, while up the 
middle there stretches a broader passage-way making 
open space under a high roof, rising to a loftier 
top." Facing you, at the top of some steps rises 
the pulpit from which the priest proclaims God. 
The building even when it is full scarcely admits 
the struggling waves of people, and there is turmoil 
in the confined space at the packed doorway when 
she opens her motherly arms to receive and com- 
fort her children and they pile up on her teeming 
bosom. 

If I remember aright, beauteous Rome honours 
this martyr on the Ides * of August, as she herself 
names the day in the old fashion, and I should like 
you too, holy teacher, to count it among your yearly 
festivals. Assuredly he will bring healthful days to 
those who venerate him, and give them in return the 
reward for honouring his day. Along with the 
festivals of Cyprian and Chelidonius and Eulalia let 
this day too come round for you. So may Christ 
the almighty hear your prayers for the people whose 
life has been committed to your care ; so may your 
sheepfold be full and the wolf shut out from it and 
your flock never reduced by his seizing a lamb ; 
so, when I am left behind like a sick sheep on the 

other purposes, became the model for Christian churches. 
The plan was not always the same, but that described here, in 
which the central part was higher than the side aisles, was 
characteristic of most basilicas. 
* The 13th. 

321 
VOL. II. M 



PRUDENTIUS 

sedulus aegrotam pastor ovem referas ; 
sic, cum lacteolis caulas conpleveris agnis, 245 

raptus et ipse sacro sis comes Hippolyto. 



XII 

Passio Apostolorum Petri et Pauli. 

" Plus solito coeunt ad gaudia : die, amice, quid sit. 

Romam per omnem cursitant ovantque." 

Festus apostolici nobis redit hie dies triumphi, 

Pauli atque Petri nobilis cruore. 
unus utrumque dies, pleno tamen innovatus anno, 5 

vidit superba morte laureatum. 
scit Tiberina palus, quae flumine lambitur propinquo, 

binis dicatum caespitem tropaeis, 
et crucis et gladii testis, quibus inrigans easdem 

bis fluxit imber sanguinis per herbas. 10 

prima Petrum rapuit sententia legibus Neronis 

pendere iussum praeminente ligno. 
ille tamen veritus celsae decus aemulando mortis 

ambire tanti gloriam Magistri 
exigit ut pedibus mersum caput inprimant supinis, 15 

quo spectet imum stipitem cerebro. 

" Neither the day nor the year of the martyrdom of either 
apostle is certainly known. There were different traditions, 
the commonest saying that they suffered in the same year. 
Their festivals had come to be celebrated on the same day 
(June 29) perhaps because on that day, at the beginning 
of Valerian's persecution in 258, the remains of both were 
temporarily removed from their resting places for greater 
security. 

* This may be taken as referring to a wide area in the vicinity 
of the Tiber, not implying that Prudentius' informant thought 

322 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XII 

grass of the field, may you as a zealous shepherd 
bring me home ; so, when you have filled your pens 
with milk-white lambs, may you too be taken up and 
join company with holy Hippolytus. 



XII 

The Passion of the Apostles Peter and Paul. 

" People are gathering more than is usual for re- 
joicings. Tell me, friend, what it means. All over 
Rome they are running about in exultation." 

" Today we have the festival of the apostles' 
triumph coming round again, a day made famous by 
the blood of Paul and Peter. The same day, but 
recurring after a full year,* saw each of them win the 
laurel by a splendid death. The marshland of Tiber, 
washed by the near-by river, knows that its turf 
was hallowed by two victories, for it was witness 
both of cross and sword, by which a rain of blood 
twice flowed over the same grass and soaked it.** 
First the sentence of doom carried off Peter, when 
under the orders of Nero it was commanded that 
he should hang on a high tree. But he, because he 
feared to court the glory of his great Master by 
emulating the honour of being lifted up to die, 
insisted that they should set his head down, his 
feet upwards, so that the top of his head should look 

that both apostles actually suffered on the same spot. It is 
most probable that St. Peter was crucified at Nero's Circus on 
the Vatican Hill, and there is an ancient tradition that St. Paul 
was beheaded at Aquae Salviae (now Tre Fontane) near the 
Via Ostiensis and at some distance from Rome. C/. lines 45 f. 
and see Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Borne, pp. 127, 156. 

323 



PRUDENTIUS 

figitur ergo manus subter, sola versus in cacumen, 

hoc mente maior, quo minor figura. 
noverat ex humili caelum citius solere adiri ; 

deiecit ora spiritum daturus. 20 

ut teres orbis iter flexi rota percucurrit anni 

diemque eundem sol reduxit ortus, 
e vomit in iugulum Pauli Nero fervidum furor em, 

iubet feriri gentium magistrum. 
ipse prius sibimet finem cito dixerat futurum : 25 

* ad Christum eundum est, iam resolvor,' inquit. 
nee mora, protrahitur, poenae datur, inmolatur ense ; 

non hora vatem, non dies fefellit. 
dividit ossa duum Tybris sacer ex utraque ripa, 

inter sacrata dum fluit sepulcra. 30 

dextra Petrum regio tectis tenet aureis receptum 

canens oliva, murmurans fluento. 
namque supercilio saxi liquor ortus excitavit 

fontem perennem chrismatis feracem. 
nunc pretiosa ruit per marmora lubricatque clivum, 

donee virenti fluctuet colymbo. 36 

interior tumuli pars est, ubi lapsibus sonoris 

stagnum nivali volvitur profundo. 
omnicolor vitreas pictura superne tinguit undas, 

musci relucent et virescit aurum 40 

cyaneusque latex umbram trahit inminentis ostri : 

credas moveri fluctibus lacunar. 

" Cf. II Timothy iv, 6. 

* Constantine built a church over the tomb of St. Peter. 
It was replaced by the present St. Peter's in the 16th century. 
See Lanciani, op. cit,, pp. 132-158. 

* A baptistery was constructed by Pope Damasus in the 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XII 

towards the bottom of the post. So he had his hands 
fastened below and his feet towards the top, his 
spirit nobler in proportion to the humbling posture. 
He knew that heaven is wont to be attained more 
quickly from a lowly start, and lowered his face to 
give up his soul. When the round wheel of the 
turning year had run full circle and the rising sun 
brought again the same day, Nero disgorged his 
burning rage on the neck of Paul, ordering the 
teacher of the gentiles to be beheaded. He had 
himself foretold that his end was soon to come : " I 
must go to Christ, the time of my release is come," 
he said." With no reprieve he was taken forth, put 
to the penalty, slain with the sword; neither the 
hour nor the day belied his prophecy. Tiber 
separates the bones of the two and both its banks are 
consecrated as it flows between the hallowed tombs. 
The quarter on the right bank took Peter into its 
charge and keeps him in a golden dwelling,* where 
there is the grey of olive-trees and the sound of 
a stream ; for water rising from the brow of a rock 
has revealed a perennial spring which makes them 
fruitful in the holy oil. Now it runs over costly 
marbles, gliding smoothly down the slope till it bil- 
lows in a green basin. There is an inner part of the 
memorial where the stream falls with a loud sound 
and rolls along in a deep, cold pool.<^ Painting in 
diverse hues colours the glassy waves from above, so 
that mosses seem to glisten and the gold is tinged 
with green, while the water turns dark blue where 
it takes on the semblance of the overhanging 
purple, and one would think the ceiling was dancing 

course of his operations for draining the Vatican Hill. See 
his Epigrammata, ed. Ihm, no. 4, and Lanciani, p. 139. 

3^5 



PRUDENTIUS 

pastor oves alit ipse illic gelidi rigore fontis, 

videt sitire quas fluenta Christi. 
parte alia titulum Pauli via servat Ostiensis, 45 

qua stringit amnis caespitem sinistrum. 
regia pompa loci est ; princeps bonus has sacravit 
arces 

lusitque magnis ambitum talentis. 
bratteolas trabibus sublevit, ut omnis aurulenta 

lux ^sset intus, ceu iubar sub ortu. 50 

subdidit et Parias fulvis laquearibus columnas, 

distinguit illic quas quaternus ordo. 
turn camiros hyalo insigni varie cucurrit arcus : 

sic prata vernis floribus renident. 
ecce duas fidei summo Patre conferente dotes, 55 

urbi colendas quas dedit togatae. 
aspice, per bifidas plebs Romula funditur plateas, 

lux in duobus fervet una festis. 
nos ad utrumque tamen gressu properemus incitato, 

et his et illis perfruamur hymnis. 60 

ibimus ulterius qua fert via pontis Hadriani, 

laevam deinde fluminis petemus. 
transtiberina prius solvit sacra pervigil sacerdos, 

mox hue recurrit duplicatque vota. 
haec didicisse sat est Romae tibi : tu domum re- 
versus 65 

diem bifestum sic colas memento." 



" The church erected by Constantine was rebuilt on a 
grander scale under Theodosius and his son Honorius. See 
Lanciani, pp. 150 ff. 

* The Pons Aelius, built by Hadrian, now Ponte S. Angelo. 

326 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XII 

on the waves. There the shepherd himself nurtures 
his sheep with the ice-cold water of the pool, for 
he sees them thirsting for the rivers of Christ. 

" Elsewhere the Ostian Road keeps the memorial 
church of Paul, where the river grazes the land on its 
left bank. The splendour of the place is princely, for 
our good emperor " dedicated this seat and decorated 
its whole extent with great wealth. He laid plates 
on the beams so as to make all the light within 
golden like the sun's radiance at its rising, and 
supported the gold-panelled ceiling on pillars of 
Parian marble set out there in four rows. Then he 
covered the curves of the arches with splendid glass 
of different hues, like meadows that are bright with 
flowers in the spring. 

" There you have two dowers of the faith, the gift 
of the Father supreme, which He has given to the 
city of the toga to reverence. See, the people of 
Romulus goes pouring through the streets two 
separate ways, for the same day is busy vvith two 
festivals. But let us hasten with quickened step to 
both and in each get full enjoyment of the songs of 
praise. We shall go further on, where the way 
leads over Hadrian's bridge,^ and afterwards seek the 
left bank of the river. The sleepless bishop performs 
the sacred ceremonies first across the Tiber," then 
hurries back to this side and repeats his offerings.** 
It is enough for you to have learned all this at Rome ; 
when you return home, remember to keep this day 
of two festivals as you see it here." 

" At St. Peter's. 

^ At St. Paul's. Owing to the great distance this double 
service was afterwards given up and the commemoration of 
St, Paul transferred to the next day. 

327 



PRUDENTIUS 

XIII 

Passio Cypriani. 

PuNiCA terra tulit, quo splendeat omne quidquid 

usquam est, 
inde domo Cyprianum, sed decus orbis et magistrum. 
est proprius patriae martyr, sed amore et ore noster. 
incubat in Libya sanguis, sed ubique lingua pollet, 
sola superstes agit de corpore, sola obire nescit, 5 
dum genus esse hominum Christus sinet et vigere 

mundum. 
dum liber ullus erit, dum scrinia sacra litterarum, 
te leget omnis amans Christum, tua, Cypriane, discet. 
Spiritus ille Dei, qui fluxerat auctor in prophetas, 
fontibus eloquii te caelitus actus inrigavit. 10 

o nive candidius linguae genus ! o novum saporem ! 
ut liquor ambrosius cor mitigat, inbuit palatum, 
sedem animae penetrat, mentem fovet et pererrat 

artus, 
sic Deus interius sentitur et inditur medullis. 
unde bonum subitum terris dederis. Pater, revela. 15 
derat apostolicis scriptis opulentus executor : 
eligitur locuples facundia, quae doceret orbem 
quaeque voluminibus Pauli famulata disputaret, 
quo mage cruda hominum praecordia perpolita nossent 
sive timoris opus seu mystica vel profunda Christi. 20 
unus erat iuvenum doctissimus artibus sinistris, 

" Bishop of Carthage and a voluminous writer. Before his 
conversion he had been known as an orator and teacher of 
rhetoric, and his literary style was highly esteemed. He 
suJBFered martyrdom in 258. 

' Perhaps the law of the Old Testament as contrasted by 
St. Paul with the Gospel of Christ ; or possibly " the fear of the 
Lord " as being " the beginning of wisdom." 
328 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIII 

XIII 

The Passion of Cyprian.** 

The Punic land bore Cyprian to give lustre to the 
whole earth everywhere ; that was the home he 
came from, but he was to be the glory and the 
teacher of the world. As martyr he belongs to his 
native country, but by his love and speech he is ours. 
His blood rests in Africa, but his tongue is potent 
everywhere ; it alone of all his body still survives in 
life, it alone cannot die, as long as Christ shall suffer 
the race of men to exist and the world to function. 
As long as there shall be any book, any collections of 
sacred writings, every lover of Christ will read thee, 
Cyprian, and learn thy teachings. The Spirit of 
God, which formerly flowed into the prophets to 
inspire them, was sent from heaven and flooded thee 
with streams of eloquence. What speech is thine ! 
It is purer than snow, and of a new savour ! Like an 
ambrosial liquor which soothes the heart, bathing the 
palate and penetrating to the seat of the soul, while 
it sustains the spirit and spreads through the whole 
frame, it makes us feel God within us entering 
into our marrows. Show us, O Father, from whence 
Thou didst give this unexpected blessing to the 
world. 

The apostolic writings wanted a powerful inter- 
preter, and a richly-furnished eloquence was chosen 
out to teach the world and to serve the works of Paul 
as an expositor, whereby the raw minds of men should 
be refined and come to know better both the work 
of fear ^ and the deep mysteries of Christ. He was 
pre-eminent among young men for skill in perverse 

329 



PRUDENTIUS 

fraude pudicitiam perfringere, nil sacrum putare, 
saepe etiam magicum cantamen inire per sepulcra, 
quo geniale tori ius solveret aestuante nupta. 
luxuriae rabiem tantae cohibet repente Christus, 25 
discutit et tenebras de pectore, pellit et furorem, 
inplet amore sui, dat credere, dat pudere facti. 
iamque figura alia est quam quae fuit oris et nitoris : 
exuitur tenui vultus cute, transit in severam, 
deflua caesaries conpescitur ad breves capillos, 30 
ipse modesta loqui, spem quaerere, regulam tenere, 
vivere iustitia Christi, penetrare dogma nostrum, 
his igitur meritis dignissimus usque episcopale 
provehitur solium doctor, capit et sedile summum. 
Valerianus opum princeps erat atque Gallienus ; 35 
constituere simul poenam capitis Deum fatenti. 
milia terrigenum spurcissima iusserant sacrari. 
contra animos populi doctor Cyprianus incitabat, 
ne quis ab egregiae virtutis honore discreparet, 
neu fidei pretium quis sumere degener timeret. 40 
esse levem cruciatum, si modo conferas futura, 
quae Deus ipse viris intermina fortibus spopondit ; 
merce doloris emi spem luminis et diem perennem, 
omne malum volucri cum tempore transvolare cursim. 
nil grave, quod peragi finis facit et quiete donat. 45 
se fore principium pulchrae necis et ducem cruoris, 

" Cyprian of Carthage is here confused with a certain 
Cyprian of Antioch. 
* See note on VI, 41. 

33° 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIII 

arts, would violate modesty by a trick, count nothing 
holy, and often practise a magic spell amid the tombs 
to raise passion in a wife and break the law of wed- 
lock." But all at once Christ checked this great rage 
of self-indulgence, scattered the darkness from his 
heart, drove out its frenzy, and filled it with love of 
Him, giving him the gift of faith and of shame for his 
past behaviour. And now his face and his elegant 
style changed from their former fashion ; his coun- 
tenance lost the softness of its skin and went over to 
an austere look, the flowing locks were clipped short, 
his speech was sober, he looked for the hope of 
Christ, holding to his rule, living according to his 
righteousness, and seeking to fathom our doctrine. 
So by these merits becoming most worthy he was 
advanced to the bishop's throne to be teacher and 
took the highest seat. 

Valerian and Gallienus ^ were then at the head of 
power, and together they decreed sentence of death 
on any that confessed God, They commanded that a 
multitude of unclean earth-born creatures be wor- 
shipped as divine ; but Cyprian by his teaching was 
rousing the spirit of his people against them, urging 
that none should fall short of the honour due to 
outstanding courage nor lapse and fear to take the 
reward of faith. " The torture is but light," he told 
them " if only you compare with it the things that 
shall be, the unending joys which God himself has 
promised to men if they are brave. The pain is but 
the price we pay for the hope of light and eternal 
day; all the ill passes quickly away with fleeting 
time, and nothing is grievous to which an end brings 
completion and gives rest." He himself, he said, 
would be the first to go to a noble death and be 

331 



PRUDENTIUS 

seque caput gladio submittere, sanguinem dicare ; 
qui sociare animam Christo velit, ut comes sequatur. 
his ubi corda virum Christo calefacta praeparavit, 
ducitur ante alios proconsule perfurente vinctus. 50 
antra latent Tyriae Carthaginis abditis reposta, 
conscia tartareae caliginis, abdicata soli, 
clausus in his specubus sanctus Cyprianus et catena 
nexus utramque manum nomen Patris invocat su- 

premi : 
" omnipotens genitor Christi Deus et creator orbis, 55 
Christe parens hominis, quern diligis et vetas perire, 
ille ego, vipereis quem tu bonus oblitum venenis, 
criminibus variis tinctum, miseratus abluisti 
iamque tuus fieri mandas, fio Cyprianus alter 
et novus ex veteri nee iarn reus aut nocens, ut ante. 60 
si luteum facili charismate pectus expiasti, 
vise libens tenebris ergastula caeca dissipatis, 
eripe corporeo de carcere vinculisque mundi 
hanc animam, liceat fuso tibi sanguine inmolari, 
ne qua ferum reprimat dementia iudicem, tyranni 
neu sciat invidia mitescere, gloriam negare. 66 

da quoque ne quis iners sit de gvege quem tuum 

regebam, 
ne cadat inpatiens poenae titubetve quis tuorum, 
incolumem ut numerum reddam tibi debitumque 

solvam." 
vocibus his Dominum permoverat ; influebat inde 70 

*• So called because it was founded by Phoenicians from 
Tyre. 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIII 

their leader in suffering bloodshed ; he submitted his 
head to the sword and made an offering of his blood ; 
whosoever would unite his soul to Christ, let him 
follow in his company. And when with such words 
he had kindled men's hearts and made them ready 
for Christ, he was taken away in bonds before all 
others, for the governor was in a furious rage. There 
is a dungeon hidden away at Tyrian « Carthage, 
withdrawn from view, a place that knows the darkness 
of hell and is disowned by the sun. Shut up in this 
cavern, both his hands bound with a chain, the holy 
Cyprian called on the name of the most high Father : 
" Almighty God, Father of Christ and creator of the 
world, and Christ the father of men, whom Thou 
lovest and dost not suffer to perish, I am he on whom 
Thou in thy goodness didst take compassion when I 
was all defiled with the venom of serpents and 
stained with many a sin, and didst wash me clean 
and from henceforth bid me be thine, and I became 
another Cyprian, a new man in place of the old, no 
longer the guilty sinner I was before. If by thy 
ready grace Thou didst cleanse my vile heart, be 
pleased to visit the dark prison-house and scatter the 
gloom. Take this soul of mine out of the prison of 
the body and the bondage of the world ; let me shed 
my blood in sacrifice to Thee ; let no forbearance 
curb my judge's cruelty, nor the persecutor's hatred 
be able to grow gentle and deny me the glory. 
Grant too that none of the flock which I ruled for 
Thee be backward, that none of thy people fail or 
falter from being unable to bear the suffering, that I 
may give back to Thee the number undiminished and 
pay Thee what I owe." With these words he pre- 
vailed upon the Lord, and thereafter the Spirit flowed 

333 



PRUDENTIUS 

Spiritus in populum Carthaginis, auctor acrioris 
ingenii, stimulis ut pectora subditis calerent 
ad decus egregium discrimine sanguinis petendum, 
non trepidare docens nee cedere nee dolore vinci, 
laudis amore rapi, Christum sapere et fidem tueri. 75 
fama refert foveam campi in medio patere iussam, 
calce vaporifera summos prope margines refertam ; 
saxa recocta vomunt ignem niveusque pulvis ardet, 
urere tacta potens et mortifer ex odore flatus, 
adpositam memorant aram fovea stetisse summa 80 
lege sub hac, salis aut micam, iecur aut suis litarent 
Christicolae, aut mediae sponte inruerent in ima 

fossae, 
prosiluere alacres cursu rapido simul trecenti, 
gurgite pulvereo mersos liquor aridus voravit 
praecipitemque globum fundo tenus inplicavit imo. 
corpora candor habet, candor vehit ad superna 

mentes, 86 

"Candida Massa" dehinc dici meruit per omne 

saeclum. 



" This episode is entirely separate from the case of St. 
Cyprian, and Prudentius says expressly that here he depends 
on oral tradition (" fama refert "), whereas the martyrdom of 
Cyprian is well documented (see the Acta Proconsularia in 
Hartel's edition of Cyprian, Part iii, Vienna, 1871, pp. ex If.). 
Augustine in his Exposition of Psalm xlix gives the number 
of these martyrs as " more than 153," but his point is only 
that they outnumbered the 153 fishes of John xxi, 6-11. He 
does not mention the manner of their death, but one of the 
" supposititious " sermons attributed to him (no. 317) implies 
that they were put to death by the sword. The place of 
their death was Utica, not Carthage. They came to be 
known as " Martyres Candidae Massae," and Augustine (in 

334 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIII 

in upon the people of Carthage inspiring a bolder 
temper, so that under his prompting their hearts 
might be warmed to seek illustrious honour by the 
hazarding of their blood, teaching them not to be 
afraid nor give way nor be overcome by the pain, 
but to be swept on by the love of glory, to think 
like Christ and keep the faith. 

Tradition tells that there was a pit which had been 
opened by command in the midst of a piece of level 
ground and filled nearly to the brim with smoking 
lime, the heated stones pouring out fire, the snow- 
white dust hot, capable of burning anything it 
touched and killing with the smell of its breath. 
They say an altar was set up by the top of the pit 
and the order was that the Christians must either 
offer in sacrifice a grain of salt or a sow's liver, or 
else throw themselves into the depths in the midst of 
the pit. Three hundred together sprang forward 
eagerly with a quick rush and sank in the powdery 
gulf, where the dry sea swallowed them, enveloping 
the plunging mass in its lowest depths. Whiteness 
possesses their bodies, and whiteness carries their 
souls to heaven. " The White Throng " justly 
gained its name from that day forth for ever more." 

Sermon 306) explains the phrase as derived from their large 
number (massa) and the splendour of their cause [Candida), 
whereas Prudentius makes the adjective refer to the whiteness 
of the lime which covered them. It has been suggested (c/. 
AUard, op. cit., p. 116) that they were massacred and the 
bodies buried in quicklime, and that this gave rise to the 
tradition which Prudentius knew. It has also been conjec- 
tured that Candida Massa may have been a place-name 
(" Whitelands " ?), since in later Latin massa often means a 
demesne ; but if this had been the force of the name Augustine 
would surely have known it. 

335 



PRUDENTIUS 

laetior interea iam Thascius ob diem suorum 
sistitur indomiti proconsulis eminus furori. 
edere iussus erat quid viveret: " unicultor," inquit, 
" trado salutiferi mysteria consecrata Christi." 91 
ille sub haec : " satis est iam criminis, ipse confitetur 
Thascius, ipse lovis fulmen negat. expedite ferrum, 
carnifices, gladio poenam luat hostis idolorum." 
ille Deo meritas grates agit et canit triumphans. 95 
flevit abire virum maesta Africa, quo docente facta 

est 
cultior, eloquio cuius sibi docta gloriatur ; 
mox tumulum lacrimans struxit cineresque consecra- 

vit. 
desine flere bonum tantum, tenet ille regna caeli, 
nee minus involitat terris nee ab hoc recedit orbe : 100 
disserit, eloquitur, tractat, docet, instruit, prophetat. 
nee Libyae populos tantum regit ; exit usque in ortum 
solis et usque obitum, Gallos fovet, inbuit Britannos, 
praesidet Hesperiae, Christum serit ultimis Hiberis, 
denique doctor humi est, idem quoque martyr in 

supernis, 105 

instruit hie homines, illinc pia dona dat patronus. 



336 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIII 

Meanwhile Thascius," gladdened by his people's 
end, was brought out ^ to face the proconsul's 
ungovernable rage. Bidden to declare his way of 
life, he said: " I am a worshipper of one God, and I 
teach the holy mysteries of Christ our Saviour." 
Whereupon the other cried: "Guilt enough! 
Thascius himself admits it, and denies Jupiter's 
thunderbolt. Get ready the steel, ye executioners. 
Let this enemy of idols pay the penalty by the 
sword." Cyprian gave God due thanks and sang in 
triumph. 

Africa wept in sorrow at the departure of the man 
whose teaching advanced her in cultivation, and of 
whose eloquence she boasts of having been the pupil. 
Afterwards with tears she raised a tomb and con- 
secrated his ashes. Weep no more for this great 
blessing ! He has attained to the realms of heaven, 
yet none the less he moves over the earth and does 
not leave this world. He still discourses, still holds 
forth, expounding, teaching, instructing, prophesy- 
ing ; and not only does he direct the peoples of 
Libya, but goes forth to the east and the west, nur- 
turing the Gauls, training the Britons, keeping guard 
over Italy, spreading the knowledge of Christ in 
farthest Spain. Indeed he is both teacher on earth 
and martyr too in heaven ; here he instructs men, 
from there as their patron gives them gifts in love. 

" Cyprian. In one of his letters (no. 66) he describes himself 
as " Cyprianus, qui et Thascius." 

* To a country house outside Carthage where the governor 
was in residence (see the Acta Proconsularia, 2). 



337 



338 



PRUDENTIUS 

XIV 

Passio Agnetis 

Agnes sepulcrum est Romulea in domo, 

fortis puellae, martyris inclytae. 

conspectu in ipso condita turrium 

servat salutem virgo Quiritium, 

nee non et ipsos protegit advenas 5 

puro ac fideli pectore supplices. 

duplex corona est praestita martyri : 

intactum ab omni crimine virginal, 

mortis deinde gloria liberae. 

aiunt iugali vix habilem tore 10 

primis in annis forte puellulam 
Christo calentem fortiter inpiis 
iussis re'nisam, quo minus idolis 
addicta sacram desereret fidem. 
temptata multis nam prius artibus, 15 

nunc ore blandi iudicis inlice, 
nunc saevientis carnificis minis, 
stabat feroci robore pertinax 
corpusque duris excruciatibus 
ultro offerebat non renuens mori. 20 

turn trux tyrannus : "si facile est," ait, 
" poenam subactis ferre doloribus 
et vita vilis spernitur, at pudor 
carus dicatae virginitatis est. 
banc in lupanar trudere publicum 25 

certum est, ad aram ni caput applicat 
ac de Minerva iam veniam rogat, 
quam virgo pergit temnere virginem. 
omnis inventus inruet et novum 
ludibriorum mancipium petet." 30 

" baud," inquit Agnes, " inmemor est ita 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIV 

XIV 

The Passion of Agnes * 

The grave of Agnes is in the home of Romulus ; * 
a brave lass she, and a glorious martyr. Laid within 
sight of their palaces, this maiden watches over the 
well-being of Rome's citizens, and she protects 
strangers too when they pray with pure and faithful 
heart. A double crown of martyrdom was vouch- 
safed to her, the keeping of her virginity untouched 
by any sin, and then the glory of her dying by her 
own will. 

They say it happened that as a young girl in her 
earliest years, scarce yet marriageable, but warm 
with the love of Christ, she bravely withstood godless 
commands, refusing to make herself over to idols 
and desert her holy faith. For though she was first 
assailed with many arts, now with seductive words 
from a smooth-tongued judge, and again with 
threats of cruel torture, she stood firm with strength 
indomitable, and even offered her body for the sore 
torment, not refusing to die. Then said the savage 
persecutor: " If it is easy for her to overcome the 
pains and bear the suffering and she scorns life as of 
little worth, still the purity of her dedicated maiden- 
hood is dear to her. I am resolved to thrust her into 
a public brothel unless she lays her head on the altar 
and now asks pardon of Minerva, the virgin whom 
she, a virgin too, persists in slighting. All the young 
men will rush in to seek the new slave of their sport." 
" Nay," says Agnes, " Christ is not so forgetful of his 

" The date of her martyrdom is uncertain ; it may have been 
earlier than Diocletian's persecution. 
* I.e. Rome. 

339 



PRUDENTIUS 

Christus suorum, perdat ut aureum 

nobis pudorem, nos quoque deserat. 

praesto est pudicis nee patitur sacrae 

integritatis munera pollui. 35 

ferrum inpiabis sanguine, si voles, 

non inquinabis membra libidine." 

sic elocutam publicitus iubet 

flexu in plateae sistere virginem. 

stantem refugit maesta frequentia, 40 

aversa vultus, ne petulantius 

quisquam verendum conspiceret locum. 

intendit unus forte procaciter 

OS in puellam nee trepidat sacram 

spectare formam lumine lubrico. 45 

en ales ignis fulminis in modum 

vibratur ardens atque oculos ferit. 

caecus corusco lumine corruit 

atque in plateae pulvere palpitat. 

tollunt sodales seminecem solo 50 

verbisque deflent exequialibus. 

ibat triumphans virgo Deum Pattern 

Christumque sacro carmine concinens, 

quod sub profani labe periculi 

castum lupanar nee violabile 55 

experta victrix virginitas foret. 

sunt qui rogatam rettulerint preces 

fudisse Christo, redderet ut reo 

lucem iacenti : tunc iuveni halitum 

vitae innovatum visibus integris. 60 

primum sed Agnes hunc habuit gradum 
caelestis aulae, mox alius datur 
ascensus ; iram nam furor incitat 
hostis cruenti : " vincor," ait gemens, 
" i, stringe ferrum, miles, et exere 65 



340 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIV 

own as to let our precious chastity be lost and 
abandon us. He stands by the chaste and does not 
suffer the gift of holy purity to be defiled. You may 
stain your sword with my blood if you will, but you 
will not pollute my body with lust." When she had 
thus spoken he gave order to place the maid publicly 
at a corner of the square ; " but while she stood 
there the crowd avoided her in sorrow, turning their 
faces away lest any look too rudely on her modesty. 
One, as it chanced, did aim an impudent gaze at the 
girl, not fearing to look on her sacred figure with a 
lustful eye ; when behold, a fire came flying like a 
thunderbolt and with its quivering blaze struck his 
eyes, and he fell blinded by the gleaming flash and 
lay convulsed in the dust of the square. His com- 
panions lifted him from the ground between life and 
death and bewailed him with words of lamentation 
for the departed. But the maiden passed in triumph, 
singing of God the Father and Christ in holy song 
because, when an unholy peril fell on her, her vir- 
ginity won the day, finding the brothel chaste and 
pure. Some have told that being asked she poured 
forth prayers to Christ that He would restore sight 
to the prostrate sinner, and that then the breath of 
life was renewed in the young man and his vision 
made perfect. 

But this was only the first step that Agnes took 
towards the court of heaven ; then she was granted a 
second ascent. For frenzy was working up her 
blood-thirsty enemy's wrath. " I am losing the 
battle," he complained. " Go draw the sword, 

" Tradition said it was one of the arcades of the Stadium of 
Domitian in the Campus Martius, on which of. the Augustan 
History, Elagabalus, 26. 

341 



PRUDENTIUS 

praecepta summi regia principis." 

ut vidit Agnes stare trucem virum 

mucrone nudo, laetior haec ait : 

" exulto talis quod potius venit 

vesanus, atrox, turbidus armiger, 70 

quam si veniret languidus ac tener 

mollisque ephebus tinctus aromate, 

qui me pudoris funere perderet. 

hie, hie amator iam, fateor, placet : 

ibo inruentis gressibus obviam, 75 

nee demorabor vota calentia : 

ferrum in papillas omne recepero 

pectusque ad imum vim gladii traham. 

sic nupta Christo transiliam poli 

omnes tenebras aethere celsior. 80 

aeterne rector, divide ianuas 

caeli obseratas terrigenis prius, 

ac te sequentem, Christe, animam voca, 

cum virginalem, tum Patris hostiam." 

sic fata Christum vertice cernuo 85 

supplex adorat, vulnus ut inminens 

cervix subiret prona paratius. 

ast ille tantam spem peragit manu, 

uno sub ictu nam caput amputat ; 

sensum doloris mors cita praevenit. 90 

exutus inde spiritus emicat 

liberque in auras exilit. angeli 

saepsere euntem tramite candido. 

miratur orbem sub pedibus situm, 

spectat tenebras ardua subditas 95 

ridetque solis quod rota circuit, 

quod mundus omnis volvit et inplicat, 

rerum quod atro turbine vivitur, 

quod vana saecli mobilitas rapit : 



342 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIV 

soldier, and give effect to our lord the emperor's 
sovereign commands." When Agnes saw the grim 
figure standing there with his naked sword her glad- 
ness increased and she said: " I rejoice that there 
comes a man like this, a savage, cruel, wild man-at- 
arms, rather than a listless, soft, womanish youth 
bathed in perfume, coming to destroy me with the 
death of my honour. This lover, this one at last, I 
confess it, pleases me. I shall meet his eager steps 
half-way and not put off his hot desires. I shall 
welcome the whole length of his blade into my bosom, 
drawing the sword-blow to the depths of my breast ; 
and so as Christ's bride I shall o'erleap all the dark- 
ness of the sky and rise higher than the ether. O 
eternal ruler, open the gates of heaven which 
formerly were barred against the children of earth, 
and call, O Christ, a soul that follows Thee, a virgin's 
soul and a sacrifice to the Father." So saying she 
bowed her head and humbly worshipped Christ, 
so that her bending neck should be readier to suffer 
the impending blow; and the executioner's hand 
fulfilled her great hope, for at one stroke he cut off 
her head and swift death forestalled the sense of 
pain. Now the disembodied spirit springs forth and 
leaps in freedom into the air, and angels are round her 
as she passes along the shining path. She marvels 
at the world that lies beneath her feet; as she 
mounts on high she looks at the darkness below and 
laughs at the circling of the sun's orb, the turning 
and intertwining of all the universe, the life that is 
lived in the black whirlwind of circumstance, the 

343 



PRUDENTIUS 

reges, tyrannos, imperia et gradus 100 

pompasque honorum stulta tumentium, 

argenti et auri vim rabida siti 

cunctis petitam per varium nefas, 

splendore multo structa habitacula, 

inlusa pictae vestis inania, 105 

iram, timorem, vota, pericula, 

nunc triste longum, nunc breve gaudium, 

livoris atri fumificas faces, 

nigrescit unde spes hominum et decus, 

et, quod malorum taetrius omnium est, 110 

gentilitatis sordida nubila. 

haec calcat Agnes ac pede proterit 

stans et draconis calce premens caput, 

terrena mundi qui ferus omnia 

spargit venenis mergit et inferis ; 115 

nunc virginali perdomitus solo 

cristas cerebri deprimit ignei 

nee victus audet tollere verticem. 

cingit coronis interea Deus 

frontem duabus martyris innubae : 120 

unam decemplex edita sexies 

merces perenni lumine conficit, 

centenus extat fructus in altera. 

o virgo felix, o nova gloria, 
caelestis arcis nobilis incola, 125 

intende nostris conluvionibus 
vultum gemello cum diademate, 
cui posse soli cunctiparens dedit 
castum vel ipsum reddere fomicem. 
purgabor oris propitiabilis 130 

fulgore, nostrum si iecur inpleas, 
nil non pudicum est quod pia visere 
dignaris almo vel pede tangere. 



344 



CROWNS OF MARTYRDOM, XIV 

vanities that the inconstant woyld seizes on, kings, 
despots, power and rank, the pomp, of dignitaries 
swollen with foolish pride, the masses of silver and 
gold which all seek after with a furious thirst by 
every wicked means, the gorgeously built dwellings, 
the empty vanities of fancily embroidered garments, 
anger, fear, desires, hazards, the alternations of long 
sadness and short-lived joy, the smoking brands of 
black spite that darken men's hopes and honour, 
and the foulest of all their ills, the filthy clouds of 
paganism. All this Agnes tramples on and treads 
under foot as she stands and with her heel bears 
down on the head of the fierce serpent which be- 
spatters all earthly things in the world with his venom 
and plunges them in hell; but now that he is sub- 
dued by a virgin's foot he lowers the crests on his 
fiery head and in defeat dares not to lift it up. 
Meanwhile with two crowns God encircles the 
unwedded martyr's brow ; recompense issuing sixty- 
fold from eternal light makes the one, profit an 
hundredfold is in the other. 

O happy virgin, glory unknown before, noble 
dweller in the height of heaven, on our gathered 
impurities turn thy face with thy twin diadems, 
thou to whom alone the Father of all has granted the 
power to make a very brothel pure ! I shall be 
cleansed by the brightness of thy gracious face if 
thou wilt fill my heart. Nothing is impure which 
thou dost deign to visit in love or to touch with thy 
restoring foot. 



345 



TITULI HISTORIARUMi 
(DITTOCHAEON) 

I. DE Adam et Eva 

Eva columba fuit tunc Candida ; nigra deinde 
facta per anguinum malesuada fraude venenum 
tinxit et innocuum maculis sordentibus Adam ; 
dat nudis ficulna draco mox tegmina victor. 



11. DE Abel et Cain 

Fratrum sacra Deus nutu distante duorum 5 

aestimat accipiens viva et terrena refutans. 
rusticus invidia pastorem sternit : in Abel 
forma animae exprimitur, caro nostra in munere 
Cain. 

^ The title is doubtful. Editions before that of Bergman give 
Dittochaeon or Dittochaeum or, less commonly, Diptychon. 
The latter is a conjecture, the former has som,e authority ; but 
of Bergman's twelve MSS. five give no title, three give Tituli 
Historiarum, one describes the verses as Tituli, three (A B M) 
do not have these verses at all. The headings of the separate 
quatrains vary considerably in the MSS. 

" Scenes from the Old and New Testaments depicted on 
the walls of a church. Paulinus of Nola (353-431) describes a 
church which was decorated in this way (Carmen XXVII, 



LINES TO BE INSCRIBED UNDER 
SCENES FROM HISTORY" 

(TWOFOLD NOURISHMENT) 

I. Adam and Eve 

pjve was then white as a dove, but afterwards she 
was blackened by the venom of the serpent through 
his deceitful tempting, and with foul blots she 
stained the innocent Adam. Then the victorious 
serpent gives them coverings of fig-leaves for their 
nakedness.* 

II. Abel and Cain 

God's pleasure appraises differently the offerings 
of two brothers, accepting the living and rejecting 
the products of the earth. The farmer from jealousy 
strikes down the shepherd. In Abel is shown forth 
the figure of the soul, our flesh in the offering of 
Cain.*' 

511 flF.), and archaeology has revealed an example dating from 
before the middle of the 3rd century at Dura-Europos in 
Syria where the baptistery had paintings of this kind (see 
Rostovtzefif, Dura-Europos and its Art, pp. 130—2 and plate 
XXVIII). 

* Genesis iii. 

' Genesis iv. 

347 



PRUDENTIUS 

III. DE NOE ET DlLUVlO 

Nuntia diluvii iam decrescentis ad arcam 
ore columba refert ramum viridantis olivae. 10 

corvus enim ingluvie per foeda cadavera captus 
haeserat ; ilia datae revehit nova gaudia pacis. 

IV. DE Abraham et Hospitio eius 

Hospitium hoc Domini est, ilex ubi frondea 
Mambrae 
armentale senis protexit culmen ; in ista 
risit Sarra casa subolis sibi gaudia sera 15 

ferri et decrepitum sic credere posse maritum. 

V. MoNUMENTUM SaRRAE 

Abraham mercatus agrum, cui conderet ossa 
coniugis, in terris quoniam peregrina moratur 
iustitia atque fides : hoc illi milibus emptum 
spelaeum, sanctae requies ubi parta favillae est. 20 

VI. SOMNIUM PhARAONIS 

Bis septem spicae, vaccae totidem Pharaoni 
per somnum visae portendunt dispare forma, 
uberis atque famis duo per septennia tempus 
instare ; hoc solvit patriarcha interprete Christo. 

" Cf. Genesis viii, 7-11. Augustine (Quaestiones in Hepta- 
teuchum, I, 13) says the question was often asked what became 
of the raven, since the dove sent out after it returned because 
she " found no rest for the sole of her foot," and many con- 
jectured that the raven had settled on a (floating) body, which 
the dove would not do. 

* Genesis xviii. 

* Genesis xxiii. ^ Genesis xli. 

348 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

III. Noah and the Flood 

Telling that the flood is now abating, the dove 
brings back to the ark in her mouth a branch of a 
green olive tree. For the raven being possessed with 
voracity had stayed among the loathsome bodies, 
but the dove brings home the joyful news of the 
gift of peace." 



IV. Abraham and his Entertainment of 
Guests 

This is the lodging which entertained the Lord, 
where a leafy oak at Mamre covered the old herds- 
man's shelter. In this cabin Sarah laughed to think 
that the joy of a child was offered to her late in 
life, and that her husband in his decline could so 
believe.^ 

V. Sarah's Tomb 

Abraham purchased a field wherein to lay his 
wife's bones, inasmuch as righteousness and faith 
dwell as strangers on the earth. This cave he 
bought at a great price, and here a resting place was 
acquired for her holy ashes." 

VI. Pharaoh's Dream 

Twice seven ears of corn and as many cows appear- 
ing to Pharaoh in his sleep portend by their different 
figures that a time of plenty and a time of famine 
over two spans of seven years are coming upon 
him. This the patriarch expounds, learning its 
meaning from Christ.** 

349 



PRUDENTIUS 

VII. A Fratribus aonitus Ioseph 
Venditus insidiis fratrum puer ipse vicissim 25 
cratera in farris sacco clam praecipit abdi, 
utque reos furti Ioseph tenet, auctio fallax 
proditur, agnoscunt fratrem veniaque pudescunt. 

VIII. Ignis in Rubo 
Sentibus involitans Deus igneus ore corusco 

conpellat iuvenem, pecoris tunc forte magistrum. 30 

ille capit iussus virgam ; fit vipera virga. 

solvit vincla pedum ; properat Pharaonis ad arcem. 

IX. Iter per Mare 

Tutus agit vir iustus iter vel per mare magnum, 
ecce Dei famulis scissim freta rubra dehiscunt, 
cum peccatores rabidos eadem freta mergant. 35 
obruitur Pharao, patuit via libera Moysi. 

X. MoYSES accepit Legem 
Fumat montis apex divinis ignibus, in quo 
scripta decem verbis saxorum pagina Moysi 
traditur ; ille suos suscepta lege revisit, 
forma sed his vituli solus deus et deus aurum. 40 



" Genesis xxxvii-xlv. * Exodus iii-iv. 

" Exodus xiv. "* Exodus xix, xxxii. 



350 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

VII. Joseph Recognised by his Brethren 

The same boy who was sold by his brothers' strata- 
gem gives in his turn secret order that a bowl be 
hidden in a sack of corn ; and when Joseph detains 
them on accusation of theft the treacherous sale is 
discovered. They recognise their brother and are 
put to shame by his forgiveness." 

VIII. The Fire in the Bush 

God in the form of fire playing on the thorn-bushes 
with flashing countenance accosts a young man who 
was at that time, as it chanced, the master of a herd. 
He being bidden takes his rod, and the rod becomes a 
serpent. He unlooses the ties on his feet, and 
hastens to Pharaoh's court. ^" 

IX. The Passage of the Sea 

The righteous man passes on his way in safety 
even through the great waters. Behold, the Red 
Sea yawns apart for the servants of God, while the 
same sea drowns the furious evil-doers. Pharaoh is 
overwhelmed, but the way was free and open for 
Moses." 

X. Moses Has Received the Law 

The mountain- top is smoking with the divine fire, 
where the tables of stone inscribed with the ten 
commandments are handed to Moses. Taking up 
the law he returns to his people, but their only god is 
in the shape of a calf, their god is gold.** 

351 



PRUDENTIUS 

XI. Manna et Coturnices 

Panibus angelicis albent tentoria patrum. 
certa fides facti : tenet urceus aureus exim 
servatum manna ; ingratis venit altera nubes 
atque avidos carnis saturat congesta coturnix. 

XII. Serpens aereus in Heremo 

Fervebat via sicca heremi serpentibus atris, 45 
iamque venenati per vulnera livida morsus 
carpebant populum, sed prudens aere politum 
dux cruce suspendit, qui virus temperet, anguem. 

XIII. Lacus Myrrhae in Heremo 

Aspera gustatu populo sitiente lacuna 
tristificos latices stagnanti felle tenebat. 50 

Moyses sanctus ait: "lignum date, gurgitem in 

istum 
conicite, in dulcem vertentur amara saporem." 

XIV. Aelim Lucus in Heremo 

Devenere viri Moysi duce, sex ubi fontes 
et sex forte alii vitreo de rore rigabant 
septenas decies palmas ; qui mysticus Aelim 55 

lucus apostolicum numerum libris quoque pinxit. 

XV. DuoDEciM Lapides in Iordane 

In fontem refluo lordanis gurgite fertur, 
dum calcanda Dei populis vada sicca relinquit ; 
testes bis seni lapides, quos flumine in ipso 
constituere patres in formam discipulorum. 60 

° Exodus xvi, Cf. Hebrews ix, 4. ' Numbers xxi. 

" Exodus XV. ^ Exodus xv, Luke x. See Apoth. 1005. 
« Joshua ill, iv 

352 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XI. The Manna and the Quails 

The fathers' tents are white with bread that angels 
sent. Belief in the fact is sure ; for a golden pitcher 
holds manna kept from that time. To the ungrateful 
people comes another cloud, and heaps of quails 
glut their hunger for flesh." 

XII. The Brazen Serpent in the Wilderness 
The dry way through the wilderness was swarming 
with deadly serpents and now their poisoned bites 
were destroying the people with livid wounds ; but 
the wise leader hangs up on a cross a serpent wrought 
in brass to take its force from the venom. ^ 

XIII. The Lake of Myrrh in the Wilderness 
The people thirsted, but the pond was harsh to the 
taste, holding waters that were bitter in the mouth, a 
pool of gall. Moses the holy one says : " Get me a 
piece of wood. Throw it into this pool, and its 
bitterness will be turned to a sweet savour." " 

XIV. The Grove of Elim in the Wilderness 
The people, led by Moses, came to a place where 

they found six springs and again six more, with 

glassy water giving moisture to seventy palm-trees. 

This mystic grove of Elim represented the number 

of the apostles in the Scriptures too.** 

XV. The Twelve Stones in Jordan 

Jordan with back-flowing stream moves towards 

its source, leaving a dry crossing to be trodden by the 

people of God ; witness the twelve stones which the 

fathers set in the river itself, prefiguring the disciples.« 

353 

VOL. II. N 



PRUDENTIUS 

XVI. DoMus Raab Meretricis 

Procubuit lericho, sola stant atria Raab. 
hospita sanctorum meretrix (tanta est fidei vis) 
incolumi secura domo spectabile coccum 
ignibus adversis in signum sanguinis ofFert. 



XVII. Samson 

Invictum virtute comae leo frangere Samson 65 
adgreditur ; necat ille feram, sed ab ore leonis 
mella fluunt ; maxilla asini fontem vomit ultro : 
stultitia exundat lymphis, dulcedine virtus. 



XVIII. Samson 

Ter centum vulpes Samson capit, ignibus armat, 
pone faces caudis circumligat, in sata mittit 70 

allophylum segetesque cremat : sic callida vulpes 
nunc heresis flammas vitiorum spargit in agros. 



XIX. David 

David parvus erat, fratrum ultimus, et modo lesse 
cura gregis, citharam formans ad ovile paternum, 
inde ad delicias regis ; mox horrida bella 75 

conserit et funda sternit stridente Golian. 



" Joshua 11, vl. * Judges xiv, xv. 

' See Hamart. 500. '' Judges xv. 

* I Samuel xvi, xvll. 

354 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XVI. The House of Rahab the Harlot 

Jericho has fallen and only the house of Rahab 
stands. The harlot who entertained the holy men — 
so great is the power of faith — is without fear and 
her house is saved ; she puts out her bit of scarlet 
in face of the flames to catch the eye and be a token 
of blood." 

XVII. Samson 

A lion tries to rend Samson, whose hair makes him 
invincible. He slays the wild beast, but from the 
lion's mouth flow streams of honey ; and the jawbone 
of an ass pours forth water of itself. Foolishness 
overflows with water, strength with sweetness.'' 



XVIII. Samson 

Samson catches three hundred foxes and arms 
them with fire, tying brands to their tails behind, and 
lets them loose into the Philistines' " crops and 
burns up their corn. Just so nowadays the cunning 
fox of heresy scatters the flames of sin over the 
fields.<^ 



XIX. David 

David was a child, the youngest of his brothers, 
and now in charge of Jesse's flock, tuning his harp 
by his father's sheepfold, which was afterwards to be 
for the king's pleasure. Later he makes fearful wars, 
and with a whizzing sling lays low Goliath.* 

355 



PRUDENTIUS 

XX. Regnum David 

Regia mirifici fulgent insignia David, 
sceptrum, oleum, cornu, diadema et purpura et ara. 
omnia conveniunt Christo, chlamys atque corona, 
virga potestatis, cornu crucis, altar, olivum. 80 

XXL Aedificatio Templi 

Aedificat templum Sapientia per Solomonis 
obsequium ; regina austri grave congerit aurum. 
tempus adest quo templum hominis sub pectore 

Christus 
aedificet, quod Graia colant, quod barbara ditent, 

XXII. FiLii Prophetarum 

Forte prophetarum nati dum ligna recidunt 85 
fluminis in ripa, cecidit discussa bipennis. 
gurgite submersum est ferrum, sed mox leve lignum 
iniectum stagnis ferrum revocabile fecit. 

XXIII. Hebraei in Captivitatem Ducti 

Gens Hebraeorum peccamine capta frequenti 
fleverat exilium dirae Babylonis ad amnes ; 90 

tum patrios cantare modos praecepta recusat 
organaque in ramis salicis suspendit amarae. 

XXIV. DoMus EzECHiAE Regis 

jHic bonus Ezechias meruit ter quinque per annos 
praescriptum proferre diem legemque obeundi 



I Kings v-x. * II ELings vi. 

" Psalm cxxxvii. 



356 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XX. The Kingship of David 

The marvellous David's royal emblems shine 
bright, — sceptre, oil, horn, diadem, purple robe and 
altar. They all befit Christ, the robe and crown, the 
rod of power, the horn of the cross, the altar, the oil. 

XXI. The Building of the Temple 

Wisdom builds a temple by Solomon's obedient 
hands, and the queen of the South piles up a great 
weight of gold. The time is at hand when Christ 
shall build his temple in the heart of man, and Greece 
shall reverence it and lands not Greek enrich it." 

XXII. The Sons of the Prophets 

It chanced that while the sons of the prophets 
were cutting timber on the river's bank an axe-head 
was struck from its shaft and fell. The iron sank in 
the depths, but presently a light piece of wood 
throwTi into the water brought the iron within 
reach again.* 

XXIII. The Hebrews Led into Captivity 

The people of the Hebrews, made captive by 
reason of their many sins, had wept over their exile 
by the rivers of cruel Babylon. Then being bidden 
to sing their native songs, they refuse, and hang 
their instruments of music on the branches of the 
bitter willow tree." 

XXIV. The House of King Hezekiah 

Here good Hezekiah gained the privilege of post- 
poning his appointed day and delaying the law of 

357 



PRUDENTIUS 

tendere, quod gradibus quos vespera texerat 
umbra 95 

lumine perfusis docuit sol versus in ortuiri. 

XXV. Mariae Angelus Gabriel Mittitur 

Adventante Deo descendit nuntius alto 
Gabriel Patris ex solio sedemque repente 
intrat virgineam. " Sanctus te Spiritus," inquit, 99 
" inplebit, Maria, Christum paries, sacra virgo." 

XXVI. CiviTAs Bethlem 

Sancta Bethlem caput est orbis quae protulit 
lesum, 
orbis principium, caput ipsum principiorum. 
urbs hominem Christum genuit, qui Christus agebat 
ante Deus quam sol fieret, quam lucifer esset. 

XXVII. Magorum Munera 

Hie pretiosa Magi sub virginis ubere Christo 105 
dona ferunt puero myrrhaeque et turis et auri. 
miratur genetrix tot casti ventris honores, 
seque Deum genuisse hominem, Regem quoque 
summum. 

XXVIII. AB Angelis Pastores admoniti 

Pervigiles pastorum oculos vis luminis inplet 
angelici natum celebrans de virgine Christum. 110 



II Kings XX. ^" Luke i. 

Cf. Matthew ii, 6. ■* Matthew ii. 



358 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

death for fifteen years ; and this the sun proved by 
returning towards his rising and bathing in light the 
degrees which evening had covered with its shadow.** 

XXV, The Angel Gabriel is Sent to Mary 

The coming of God being at hand, Gabriel comes 
down as a messenger from the Father's throne on 
high and unexpectedly enters a virgin's dwelling. 
" The Holy Spirit," he says, " will make thee with 
child, Mary, and thou shalt bear the Christ, thou 
holy virgin." * 

XXVI. The City of Bethlehem 

Holy Bethlehem is the head of the world, for it 
brought forth Jesus from whom the world began, 
himself the head and source of all beginnings. This 
city gave birth to Christ as man, yet this Christ lived 
as God before the sun was made or the morning star 
existed." 

XXVII. The Gifts of the Wise Men 

Here the wise men bring costly gifts to the child 
Christ on the virgin's breast, of myrrh and incense and 
gold. The mother marvels at all the honours paid 
to the fruit of her pure womb, and that she has given 
birth to one who is both God and man and king 
supreme.** 

XXVIII. The Shepherds Warned by the 

Angels 

The strong angelic light fills the shepherds' wake- 
ful eyes, publishing abroad the birth of Christ from 

359 



PRUDENTIUS 

inveniunt tectum pannis ; praesepe iacenti 
cuna erat ; exultant alacres et numen adorant. 



XXIX. OcciDUNTUR Infantes in Bethlem 

Inpius innumeris infantum caedibus hostis 
perfurit Herodes, dum Christum quaerit in illis. 
fumant lacteolo parvorum sanguine cunae 115 

vulneribusque madent calidis pia pectora matrum. 



XXX. Baptizatur Christus 

Perfundit fluvio pastus Baptista locustis 
silvarumque favis et amictus veste cameli ; 
tinxerat et Christum, sed Spiritus aethere missus 
testatur tinctum qui tinctis crimina donet, 120 



XXXI. Pinna Templi 

Excidio templi veteris stat pinna superstes ; 
structus enim lapide ex illo manet angulus usque 
in saeclum saecli, quern sprerunt aedificantes ; 
nunc caput est templi et lapidum conpago novorum. 



XXXII. Ex Aqua Vinum 

Foedera coniugii celebrabant auspice coetu 125 
forte Galilei ; iam derant vina ministris ; 



" Luke ii. "• Matthew ii. 

<■ Matthew iii. 

** Cf. Matthew xxi, 42, Psalm cxviii, 22. 



360 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

a virgin. They find Him wrapped in swaddling- 
clothes, and a manger was the cradle in which He 
lay. They rejoice with great gladness and worship 
his divinity." 

XXIX. The Babes Are Slain in Bethlehem 

The wicked enemy Herod slaughters countless 
babes, raging furiously in the search for Christ among 
them. The cradles reek with the milky blood of the 
little ones, and the mothers' loving breasts are wetted 
from the hot wounds.* 

XXX. Christ is Baptised 

The Baptist, who fed on locusts and on honey from 
the woods and clothed himself in camel's hair, bathes 
his followers in the stream. He baptised Christ too, 
when suddenly the Spirit sent from heaven bears 
witness that it is He who forgives sin to the baptised 
who has himself been baptised.'' 

XXXI. The Pinnacle of the Temple 

A pinnacle stands surviving the destruction of the 
old temple ; for the corner built with that stone 
which the builders rejected remains for all time, 
and now it is the head of the temple and the joint 
which holds new stones together.'' 

XXXII. Water Changed into Wine 

It chanced that people of Galilee were celebrating 
a union in marriage in the presence of a company of 
well-vdshers, and now the servants were short of 

361 



PRUDENTIUS 

Christus vasa iubet properanter aquaria lymphis 
inpleri ; inde meri veteris defunditur unda. 

XXXIII. Piscina Siloa 

morborum medicina latex, quern spiritus horis 
eructat variis fusum ratione latent! ; 130 

Siloam vocitant, sputis ubi conlita caeci 
lumina Salvator iussit de fonte lavari. 



XXXIV. Passio Iohannis 

Praemia saltatrix poscit funebria virgo 
Iohannis caput, abscisum quod lance reportet 
incestae ad gremium matris ; fert regia donum 135 
psaltria respersis manibus de sanguine iusto. 

XXXV. Per Mare ambulat Christus 
It mare per medium Dominus fluctusque liquentes 
calce terens iubet instabili descendere cumba 
discipulum, sed mortalis trepidatio plantas 
mergit ; at ille manum regit et vestigia firmat. 140 

XXXVI. Daemon missus in Porcos 

Vincla sepulcrali sub carcere ferrea daemon 
fregerat : erumpit pedibusque advolvitur lesu. 
ast hominem Dominus sibi vindicat et iubet hostem 
porcorum furiare greges ac per freta mergi. 



" John ii. * John v and ix. 

" Matthew xiv. <* Matthew xiv. 

« Mark v. 

362 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

wine, Christ bids them quickly fill water-pots with 
water, and there is poured out from them a stream of 
old wine unwatered." 

XXXIII. The Pool of Siloam 

The water is a remedy for diseases ; it is emitted 
with a gush at different times, and the cause of its 
flowing is unknown. Men call it Siloam; here the 
Saviour smeared a blind man's eyes with his spittle 
and bade him wash them in the water of the spring.'' 

XXXIV. The Passion of John 

A dancing-girl demands a deathly fee, the head of 
John cut off so that she may carry it back on a plate 
to lay it in her impure mother's lap. The royal 
artiste bears the gift, her hands bespattered with 
righteous blood." 

XXXV. Christ Walks on the Sea 

The Lord passes over the midst of the sea, and as 
He treads with his foot on the flowing waters bids his 
disciple come down from the rocking boat. But the 
mortal man's fear makes his feet sink. Christ 
takes him by the hand and leads him, and makes 
his steps firm.** 

XXXVI. The Devil Sent into the Swine 

A devil had broken his bonds of iron in the prison 
of a tomb; he bursts out and throws himself at 
Jesus' feet. But the Lord claims the man for him- 
self and bids his enemy drive the herds of swine mad 
and plunge into the sea.* 

3^3 



PRUDENTIUS 

XXXVII. QuiNQUE Panes et duo Pisces 

Quinque Deus panes fregit piscesque gemellos, 
his hominum large saturavit milia quinque. 146 

inplentur nimio micarum fragmine corbes 
bis seni, aeternae tanta est opulentia mensae. 

XXXVIII. Lazarus suscitatus a Mortuis 

Conscius insignis facti locus in Bethania 
vidit ab inferna te, Lazare, sede reversum. 150 

apparet scissum fractis foribus monumentum, 
unde putrescentis redierunt membra sepulti. 

XXXIX. Ager Sanguinis 

Campus Acheldemach sceleris mercede nefandi 
venditus exequias recipit tumulosus humandas. 
sanguinis hoc pretium est Christi. luda eminus 
artat 155 

infelix collum laqueo pro crimine tanto. 

XL. DoMus Caiphae 

Inpia blasphemi cecidit domus ecce Caiphae, 
in qua pulsata est alapis facies sacra Christi. 
hie peccatores manet exitus, obruta quorum 
vita ruinosis tumulis sine fine iacebit. 160 

xli. columna ad quam flagellatus est 
Christus 
Vinctus in his Dominus stetit aedibus, atque 
columnae 
adnexus tergum dedit ut servile flagellis. 

" Matthew xiv. * John xi. 

•^ Matthew xxvii. Cf. Acts i, 19. 
" Cf. Mark xiv, 53 ff. 

364 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XXXVII. The Five Loaves and Two Fishes 

God broke five loaves and a pair of fish and with 
these fed five thousand people full with abundance. 
Twelve baskets are filled with the excess of broken 
morsels ; such are the riches of the everlasting 
table." 

XXXVIII. Lazarus Raised from the Dead 

A spot in Bethany was witness of a glorious deed 
when it saw thee, Lazarus, returned from the abode 
of death. The tomb is seen cleft open, its doors 
broken, whence the body has come back after it was 
mouldering in the grave.'' 

XXXIX. The Field of Blood 

The field Aceldama, which was sold for the price 
of a sin unspeakable, receives bodies for burial and 
is covered with graves. This is the price of the 
blood of Christ. The unhappy Judas, hanging off the 
ground, draws a noose tight about his neck for his 
great crime.'' 

XL. The House of Caiaphas 

You see the unholy house of Caiaphas the false 
accuser has fallen, the house in which Christ's sacred 
face was buffeted. This is the end that awaits 
sinners ; their life will lie for ever buried in heaps of 
ruins.*^ 

XLI. The Pillar at which Christ Was 
Scourged 

In this house stood the Lord bound and tied to a 
pillar, and submitted his back like a slave's to the 

365 



PRUDENTIUS 

perstat adhuc templumque gerit veneranda columna, 
nosque docet cunctis inmunes vivere flagris. 

XLII. Passio Salvatoris 

Traiectus per utrumque latus laticem atque 
cruorem 165 

Christus agit : sanguis victoria, lympha lavacrum est. 
tunc duo discordant crucibus hinc inde latrones 
contiguis : negat ille Deum, fert iste coronam. 

[XLIII. Sepulcrum Christi 

Christum non tenuit saxum, non claustra sepulcri ; 
mors illi devicta iacet, calcavit abyssum. 170 

sanctorum populus superas simul ivit ad oras ; 
seque dedit multis tactuque oculisque probandum.] ^ 



XLIV. MoNs Oliveti 

Montis oliviferi Christus de vertice sursum 
ad Patrem rediit signans vestigia pacis. 
frondibus aeternis praepinguis liquitur umor, 175 
qui probat infusum terris de chrismate donum. 

^ This quatrain has little or no MS. authority. It was first 
printed by two editors of the sixteenth century, Qiselinus (in his 
second edition) and Fabricius. 

" This tradition is mentioned by Jerome {Epist. 108, 9) : 
among the sights of Palestine Paula saw the pillar " ad quam 
vinctus (Dominus) dicitiu" flagellatus," now part of the fabric 
of a church. 

* Mark xv, 15. 

" John xix, 34, Luke xxiii, 39. 

<* Matthew xxvii, 52-3, xxviii, Luke xxiv, 39, John xx, 27. 

366 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

scourging. This pillar, worthy of all reverence, still 
stands and supports a church," teaching us to live in 
freedom from all whips.'' 



XLII. The Saviour's Passion 

Pierced through either side, Christ gives forth 
water and blood. The blood is victory, the water 
baptism. At this time two robbers on crosses close 
by on either hand are at variance ; the one denies 
God, the other wins the crown." 



[XLIII. The Burial-place of Christ 

Neither stone nor the bars of the grave have held 
Christ captive. Death lies vanquished by Him, He 
has trodden on the pit. With Him a multitude of 
the saints passed to the heavenly regions ; and He 
presented himself to many to be proved by touch 
and sight.] ^ 



XLIV. The Mount of the Olive Grove 

From the top of the mount where the olive trees 
grow Christ returned to the Father, imprinting there 
the footmarks « of peace. A liquor passing rich 
flows from the everlasting boughs, showing that the 
gift of unction has been poured on the earth./ 

* According to old tradition Christ ascended from the 
middle summit of Olivet. A stone enclosed in an ancient 
oratory at the site is said to bear the imprint of Christ's foot. 
The ohve is itself symbolic of peace (cf. Cath. iii, 55). 

^ Cf. Acts i, 9-12. 

367 



PRUDENTIUS 

XLV. Passio Stephani 

Primus init Stephanus mercedem sanguinis imbri 
adflictus lapidum ; Christum tamen ille cruentus 
inter saxa rogat ne sit lapidatio fraudi 
hostibus. o primae pietas miranda coronae ! 180 

XLVI. Porta speciosa 

Porta manet templi, Speciosam quam vocitarunt, 
egregium Solomonis opus ; sed maius in ilia 
Christi opus emicuit ; nam claudus surgere iussus 
ore Petri stupuit laxatos ^ currere gressus. 

XLVII. Visio Petri 

Somniat inlapsum Petrus alto ex aethere discum 
confertum omnigenis animalibus : ille recusat 186 
mandere, sed Dominus iubet omnia munda putare. 
surgit et inmundas vocat ad mysteria gentes. 

XL VIII. Vas Electionis 

' Hie lupus ante rapax vestitur vellere molli : 
Saulus qui fuerat, fit adempto lumine Paulus. 190 
mox recipit visum, fit apostolus ac populorum 
doctor et ore potens corvos mutare columbis. 

^ Some M88. have damnatos. 



" Acts vii. Stephanos in Greek = crown. 

* Acts ill. " Acts X. 

•* Acts ix. 

368 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XLV. The Passion of Stephen 

Stephen is the first to enter into the reward for 
blood, being dashed down under a rain of stones. 
But while he is bleeding amid the stones he asks 
Christ that the stoning may not be laid to his enemies' 
charge. How marvellous the love shown by the first 
who won the crown ! * 

XLVI. The Beautiful Gate 

The gate of the Temple which men called the 
Beautiful still stands. It is the illustrious work of 
Solomon, but at that gate a greater work of Christ 
shone forth. For a lame man bidden by Peter's lips 
to rise was amazed to find his feet loosened and able 
to run.** 

XLVII. Peter's Vision 

Peter dreams that a dish filled with all kinds of 
beasts has come down from high heaven. He refuses 
to eat, but the Lord bids him count all clean. He 
arises, and calls the unclean nations into the know- 
ledge of the divine mysteries." 

XLVIII. The Chosen Vessel 

Here one who was formerly a ravening wolf is 
clothed in a soft fleece. He who was Saul loses his 
sight and becomes Paul. Then he receives his vision 
again and is made an apostle and a teacher of the 
nations, having power with his lips to change crows 
into doves.'* 

369 



PRUDENTIUS 

XLIX. Apocalypsis Iohannis 
Bis duodena senum sedes patetis citharisque 
totque coronarum fulgens insignibus agnum 
caede cruentatum laudat, qui evolvere librum 195 
et septem potuit signacula pandere solus. 



370 



SCENES FROM HISTORY 

XLIX. The Revelation of John 

Four and twenty elders seated and resplendent 
with vessels and harps and each his crown of honour 
are praising the Lamb that is bloodstained from the 
slaughter, and that alone has been able to unroll the 
book and undo the seven seals." 

• Revelation iv, 4, v 



371 



<EPILOGUS>^ 



572 



Inmolat Deo Patri 
pius, fidelis, innocens, pudicus 

dona conscientiae, 
quibus beata mens abundat intus. 

alter et pecuniam 5 

recidit, unde victitent egeni. 

nos citos iambicos 
sacramus et rotatiles trochaeos 

sanctitatis indigi 
nee ad levamen pauperum potentes. 10 

approbat tamen Deus 
pedestre carmen et benignus audit. 

multa divitis domo 
sita est per omnes angulos supellex : 

fulget aureus scyphus 15 

nee aere defit expolita pelvis, 

est et olla fictilis 
gravisque et ampla argentea est parapsis, 

sunt eburna quaepiam, 
nonnulla quercu sunt cavata et ulmo. 20 

omne vas fit utile 
quod est ad usum congruens erilem ; 

instruunt enim domum 
ut empta magno, sic parata ligno, 

me paterno in atrio 25 

ut obsoletum vasculum caducis 

Christus aptat usibus 
sinitque parte in anguli manere. 



<EPILOGUE> 

To God the Father he who is devout, faithful, 
guiltless and pure offers the gifts of his conscience, 
which the blessed soul within him has in plenty ; 
another again cuts his wealth short to give a living 
to the needy. For my part I dedicate my swift 
iambics and quick-running trochees," for I lack 
holiness and am not rich enough to relieve the poor. 
Yet God accepts the uninspired song and in kindness 
listens to it. In the rich man's house there are many 
furnishings set in every corner ; there is the shining 
golden cup, and the basin of bronze finely wrought is 
there, and the earthenware pot, and the heavy, broad 
tray of silver ; there are pieces made of ivory, and 
some hollowed out of oak or elm.^ There is a use for 
every vessel that is fitted for the master's service, 
for the house is furnished both with things that cost a 
great price and things made of wood. As for me, in 
his Father's house Christ fits me, as a poor, outworn 
vessel, for transitory services, and suffers me to keep 

" In these couplets the first line is trochaic, the second 
iambic. 

" Cf. II Timothy ii, 20-21. 



^ These verses are absent from the two oldest MSS. ; in some 
they are misplaced ; and they do not bear the title Epilogus. 



PRUDENTIUS 

munus ecce fictile 
inimus intra regiam salutis. 30 

attamen vel infimam 
Deo obsequellam praestitisse prodest. 

quidquid illud accidit, 
iuvabit ore personasse Christum.^ 

^ Many MSS. in which line 1 is omitted (thus leaving the 
sentence incomplete) add after 34 the line quo regente vivimus, 
which had apparently been inserted at some early time to equalise 



374 



EPILOGUE 

a place in a corner. You see me do but the office of 
earthenware in the court of salvation ; yet it is good 
to have rendered even the lowest service to God. 
Whatever be the worth of my performance, it will 
be my happiness to have sung with my lips of Christ. 

the numbers of the longer and the shorter lines ; but the Hippo- 
nactean couplet, as in Horace, Odes II, 18, begins tvith the 
shorter line. 



375 



INDEX 



A. = Apotheosis, 0. = Liber Oathemerinon, E. = Bpilogus, H. = Hamarti- 
genia, Pe. = Peristephanon Liber, Pr. = Praefatio, Ps. = Psychomachia, 
S. = Contra Orationem Symmachi, T. = Hymnus de Trinitate (vol. I p. 116), 
TH. = Tituli Historiarum. 



Aaron, Ps. 548, 884 

Abel, H. pr., Pe. V 372; X 829; 

TH. II 
Abram, Abraham, 0. X 153; XII 43; 

A. 28, 363, 364, 373; Ps. pr.; 

TH. IV; V 
Absalom, H. 564, 577, 580 
Aceldama, TH. XXXIX 
Acestes, S. II 302 
Achar, Ps. 537 
Acheron, C. V 128 
Acisclus, Pe. IV 19 
Actium, S. II 528 
Adam, 0. Ill 113, 185; IX 17, 92 

A. 691, 911, 926, 1007, 1009; H 

697, 846; Ps. 224, 226; S. II 828 

Pe. X 622 ; TH. I 
Adonis, Pe. X 228 
Adulterium (personified), H. 397 
Aegis, S. II 535, 652; Pe. X 275 
Aemilianus, Pe. VI 13, 32, 34, 48, 121 
Aeneades, A. 447 ; S. I 286 ; H 542 
Aeolia, S. I 308 

Aesculapius, A. 205; Pe. X 257 
Africa, Pe. XIII 96. v. Libya. 
Agnes, Pe. XIV 
Agrippina, S. II 669 
Alamannus, 8. II 809 
Alaric, S. II 696 
Alba, Pe. XI 203 
Alcides, S. I 226. v. Hercules. 
Alcmena, Pe. X 227 
Alexander the Great, S. II 547 
Algidus, S. II 534 
AUophilus (= Philistine), H. 500 ; 

TH. XVIII 
Almo, Pe. X 160 
Alps, S. I 467 ; Pe. II 538 



Amalec, 0. XII 171 

Ambacum, 0. IV 59 

Ambitio (personified), H. 399 

Ammon, A. 443 ; S. II 355 

Amor (personified), Ps. 436 

Amor Habendi (personified), Ps. 478 

Amorites, H. 413 

Amyclae, S. U 548 

Ana, Pe. Ill 188 

Anchises, S. I 167 

Ancus, S. I 193 

Anguis (= Satan), C. X 164; H. 711; 

TH. I. V. Satan. 
Anguis (constellation), A. 618 
Anicius, S. I 552 
Anniades, S. I 551 
Antichrist, 0. VI 102 
Antinous, 8. I 271 
Antiochus, S. II 562 
Anubis, A. 196; S. II 354, 532 
Anxietas (personified), Ps. 464 
Apelles, 8. II 46 
Apodemius, Pe. IV 160 
Apollo, A. 402, 458; S. I 262; II 

524, 567; Pe. Ill 76; X 189. v. 

Oynthius, Phoebus. 
Appenninlcola, S. II 521 
Arcadia, S. I 227 
Arcadius (emperor), S. II 7, 12, 17, 67, 

655 
Arctoa Sidera, 0. XII 13 
Arelas, Pe. IV 35 
Argo, S. I 117 
Argos, S. II 492 
Ariadne, S. I 137, 142 
Aristo, Pe. X 896, 968, 981, 1001 
Aristotle, A. 202 
Arius, Ps. 794 

377 



INDEX 



Asclepiades, Pe. X 42, 76, 108, 111, 
392, 446, 548, 676, 687, 793, 811, 
821, 866, 911, 921, 961, 1002, 1102, 
1112 

Asia, S. II 522 

Assyria, A. 145; H. 449; Ps. 60; 
S. II 550 

Athens, S. n 353, 969 

Atlas, A. 433 

Attis, S. II 52 ; Pe. X 197 

Augurius, Pe, IV 21-28, VI 

Augustus, S. I 247, 257, 259, 261, 
292; II 533; (= Valerian) Pe. II 
119; (=Honorius) S. II 764. v. 

Aurora, 0. I 22; A. 612; Ps. 830; 

S. II 599 
Avaritia (personified), Ps. 454, 469, 

481, 508, 585 
Aventine Hill, S. I 121 
Avernus, H. 128, 826, 962; Ps. 92; 

8. I 389 

Baal, 0. XII 196 ; A. 325 

Babylon, 0. IV 43 ; A. 129 ; H. 448 ; 

S. II 550; Pe. VI 110; TH. XXIII 
Bacchus, S. I 122, 129, 188, 628; II 

858; Pe. X 279. v. Bromius, 

Liber, Lyaeus. 
Bactra, A. 612 
Baiae, S. II 741 
Barchinon, Pe. IV 33 
Bassi, S. I 558 
Beelzebub, Pe. V 267 
BeUades, H. 610 
Belial, H. 520 ; Ps. 714 
Bellona, Ps. 236, 557, S. II 600 
Berecyntus, S. II 51 
Bestiarii, H. 371-374 
Bethania, TH. XXXVIII 
Bethlehem, 0. VII 1; XII 78, 105; 

Pe. X 737; TH. XXVI, XXIX 
Bible, A. 15, 107, 110, 217, 312, 594; 

H. 181, 777; S. II 337; Pe. V 

181-182, TH. XrV 
Boaz, H. 786 
Brennus, S. II 562 
Britons, Pe. XIII 103 
Bromius, S. I 131; II 496. v. 

Bacchus. 
Brutus, S. I 556 

Oaecilianus, Pe. IV 156 

Caelum, S. I 53 

Caesar (= 0. Julius), Pe. II 14; 



(= Augustus), S. 1 250 ; (= Valerian), 

Pe. II 95, 97 ; (= GaUienus), Pe. 

VI 41 ; (= Maximian), Pe. I 34, 

62 ; V 66 ; (= emperor), Pe. V 108. 

V, Augustus. 
Oaesaraugusta, Pe. IV 3, 54, 83, 142. 

197 
Caiaphas, TH. XL 
Cain, H. pr. ; H. 1 ; TH. II 
Oalagurris, Pe. I 5 ff. ; IV 31 ; VIII 
Camena, 0. Ill 26 ; IX 3 ; S. II 47 ; 

Pe. VI 153. t). Musa. 
Oamillus, S. II 558, 722 ; Pe. II 14 
Campania, S. II 746 ; Pe. XI 208 
Oanaanites, H. 409 
Cancer (constellation), A. 619 
Candida Massa, Pe. XIII 87 
Oannae, S. U 569 
Canopus, S. II 922; Pe. Ill 59; X 

255 
Capitol, A. 444; S. I 182, 216, 534, 

631 ; II 688, 834. v. Tarpeius. 
Capua, S. n 742 ; Pe. XI 208 
Carrhae, S. II 574 
Carthage, S. I 184; II 246, 497, 739, 

945; Pe. IV 17, 61 ; XIII 1, 51, 71 
Oassianus (of Tingis), Pe. IV 45; 

(of Forum Cornelii), Pe. IX 
Castor and Pollux, S. I 227 
Catiline, S. I 629 
Cato, S. I 545 ; Pe. II 446 
Caucasus, A. 429 
Ceres, S. II 563, 918 ; Pe. X 236 
Cethegus, S. I 627 
Ohaldaea, A. 617 
Charon, H. 502 ; S. I 386 
Charybdis, C. VI 107 ; A. 747 ; S. II 

900 
Chelidonius, Pe. I; IV 31 ; VIII: 

XI 237 
Cherubin, C. IV 4 
Christ passim. 
Christianus, Pe. II 59, 430, 434; 

V 64, 377; IX 30; X 57, 406, 443, 

1002 
Christicola, C. Ill 56; VIII 80; X 

57; A. 485; Ps. 13, 96, 526; 8. 

I pr. 79 ; S. I 481 ; U 1003 ; Pe. 

Ill 28, 72; VI 25; XI 39. 80: 

XIII 82 
Churches, C. V 137-152; S. I 685; 

Pe.II527; III 186-200; V 613-620; 

XI 169-230; XII 31-64 
Cicero, S. I 626, 634 
Cittaeus, H. 420 



37« 



INDEX 



Civilis Discordia (personified), Ps. 477 

Claudia, Pe. II 528 

Cleopatra, S. II 354 

Oloacina, A. 197 

Oocytus, S. I 91 

CoUine Gate, II 686, 740 

Coluber (= Satan), C. Ill 126 ; Pe. 

VI 23. V. Satan. 
Oommenta (personified), Ps. 465 
Concordia (personified), Ps. 644, 670, 

690, 734, 747, 749, 800, 801, 824 
Conplutum, Pe. IV 43 
Constantine, S. I 468 
Corduba, Pe. IV 19 
Corinth, S. II 352 
Gorruptela (personified), Ps. 465 
Corvinus, S. II 566 
Oorybantes, S. II 515 
Cossus, Pe. II 14 
Cottian Alps, Pe. II 539 
Crassus, S. II 575 
Crementius, Pe. IV 182 
Cremera, S. II 571 
Crete, S. II 492, 515, 861. v. 

Gnosius. 
Crimina (personified), Ps. 468 
Cucufates, Pe. IV 33 
Culpae (personified, = Vitia), Ps. 

683, 817 
Cultura Veterum Deorum (personified), 

Ps. 29 
Oumae, A. 442 
Oura (personified), Ps. 464 
Curetes, S. II 861 
Curius, S. II 558 
Cybele, Cybebe, S. II 51, 521; Pe. 

X 196. V. Idaea Mater, Iliaca 

Mater, Mater Deorum, Megalesius 
Oyllenius, A. 412. v. Mercury. 
Cynicus, A. 201 
Cynthius, S. II 493. v. Apollo. 
Cyprian, Pe. IV 18 ; XI 237 ; XIII 

V. Thascius. 
Cypris, Pe. X 230. v. Venus. 
Oytherea, A. 189; S. I 166; II 494. 

V. Venus. 

Daemon (= Satan), H. 622; S. II 
889; Pe. II 505; X 1088. v. 
Satan. 

Dahans, S. II 808 

Danae, S. I 68 

Daniel, 0. IV 37-72 

Datianus, Pe. V 13 £E., 40, 94, 130, 
175, 250, 378, 422 



David, C. IX 4; Xn 49, 96; A. 418, 

999, 1012; H. 563, 574, 787; Ps. 

292, 386, 807; Pe. X 838; TH. 

XIX, XX 
Deacons, Pe. II 37-44; V 30-32 
Decius, S. II 672 
Delphi, A. 438; S. II 493; Pe. X 

188 
Deucalion, A. 292 
Di Manes, S. I 403, 404 
Diana, A. 457; S. I 365, 366; II 495, 

525; Pe. X 281. v. Hecate, Trivia. 
Dicte, S. II 515 
Diespiter, S. II 860 
Diomedes, S. II 544 
Dionysia, S. II 858 
Dis, S. I 379. V. Orcus, Pluto. 
Discordia (personified), H. 395; Ps. 

442, 477, 683, 709 
Doctrina (personified), H. 399 
Dodona, A. 441 

Dolus (personified), H. 397 ; Ps. 465 
Draco (= Satan), C. Ill 111 ; Pe. I 

36 ; XIV 113 ; TH. I. v. Satan. 
Drusus, S. II 558 
Dryades, S. I 303 

Ebionites, A. 552-781 

Ecolesia, C. XII 187; Pe. II 82, 114, 

159, 305 
Eden, cm 101-124; Ps. 224 
Egypt, 0, XII 159, 203; A. 360; 

H. 470; 8.11529,933; Pe. II381; 

X 254. V. Canopus, Memphis, 

Nile, Nilicola, Pelusiacus, Pharos. 
Eleazar, C. X 154 
Elijah, C. VII 26 ; Pe. V 405 
Elim, TH. XIV 
Elisabeth, A. 587 
Eloquium (personified), H. 400 
Emerita, Pe. Ill 3, 38, 186; IV 37 
Bmeterius, Pe. I ; IV 31 ; VIII 
Emmanuel, 0. VII 180; A. 604 
Encratis, Pe. IV 109 
Ephesus, S. II 495 
Bphraim, C. XII 189 
Epona, A. 197 
Erebus, S. I 360 
Erinys, Ps. 566 
Eryx, S. I 186 
Esaias, A. 595 ; Pe. V 624 
Ethici, H. 581 
Etna, S. I 308 
Etruscus, S. II 518 ; Pe. XI 206. v. 

Tuscus. 

379 



INDEX 



BulaUa, Pe. Ill; IV 38; XI 238 
Eulogius, Pe. rv 21-28 ; VI 
Eumenides, S. I 356 ; Ps. 4.66 
Eumorphio, Pe. V 466 
Euphrates, H. 497 
Europa, S. I 61 
Europe, S. 11 491 
Euvaei, H. 422 
Evander, S. I 550 ; II 302 
Eve, 0. Ill 112 ; U. 741 ; TH. I 
Evotius, Pe. IV 157 
Ezechias, TH. XXIV 

Fabii, S. II 573 
Fabius Maximus, S. II 748 
Facundia (personified), H. 401 
Falernum, 0. IX 28; Ps. 368; S. I 

127 
Famis (personified), Ps. 464, 479 
Fasting, 0. VII; VIII; Pe. VI 54-57 
Fate, S. 11370-374; 450-487 
Faunus, Pe. X 242 
Febris, H. 158 
Felix (of Gerunda), Pe. IV 29; (of 

Oaesaraugusta) Pe. IV 155 
Fescennina, S. I 261 
Fides (personified), H. 853; Ps. 22, 

29, 37, 365, 716, 734, 748, 799, 801, 

802, 874 ; S. II 92, 120 ; Pe. II 17, X 

352 
Flora, S. I 266 ; II 563 
Fortuna, S. I 205; II 873-881 
Forum Oomelii, Pe. IX 1 
Fraus (personified), H. 400; Ps. 258, 

259, 268, 630 
Free Will, H. 669-801 ; S. II 472-476 
Fronto, Pe. IV 154 
Fructuosus, Pe. IV 23 ; VI 
Frugi (personified), Ps. 554 
Furia (personified), Ps. 46, 96, 168 
Furiae, S. I 368 
Furores (personified), Ps. 697 
Furtum (personified), H. 397 

Gabinus Oinctus, Pe. X 1015 
Gabriel, Pe. II 454; TH. XXV 
Gades, S. I 226 
Gaetulus, S. II 809 
Gaius, Pe. IV 181 
Galaula, S. II 809 
Galerius, Pe. VII 6 ; X 31 
Galileans, TH. XXXII 
GalHenus, Pe. VI 41, 45 ; XTII 35 
Gallus (priest of Oybele), S. II 523 
Ganymede, S. I 70, 274 



Garamans, S. n 809 

Gauls, S. n 688, 721 ; Pe. XIII 103 

Gehenna, 0. VI 111; XI 112; H. 

127, 959; Pa. 496; Pe. 1111 
Gelonus, A. 430 
Gemini (constellation), A. 623 
Genesius, Pe. IV 36 
Genius, S. I 447 ; II 74, 370-449 
Gerasene Swine, A. 414, TH. XXXVI 
Gerunda, Pe. IV 30 • 

Getae, A. 430 ; S. II 696, 730 
Girgashites, H. 413 
Gladiators, S. I 379-399; II 1091- 

1132 
Gnosius, 0. V 52; Pe. X 618. v. 

Crete. 
Goliath, H. 784; Ps. 291; TH. XIX 
Gomorrah, H. 842; Ps. pr. 17; Pe. 

V 194 
Gorgon, Pe. X 278 
Gracchi, S. I 561 
Gradivus, S. I 166. v. Mars. 
Gradus, S. I 582 ; II 949 
Greece, 0. XII 202; A. 384; S. II 

972; Pe. X267; TH. XXI 

Habakkuk, 0. IV 59 
Hadrian, S. I 272, 274; Pe. XII 61 
Hannibal, S. II 687, 739, 749 
Hebrews, 0. V 71; A. 379; H. 781; 

Pe. II 383; TH. XXUI. v. 

Israelites. 
Hebrus, A. 429 ; S. II 495 
Hecate, A. 460 
Hector, S. II 344 
HeUespont, S. I 111 
Hercules, A. 457; H. 402; S. I 116; 

Pe. X 215, 283, 884. r. Alcides, 

Tirynthius. 
Heresis (personified), Ps. 710, 725 
Herod, 0. XII 93, 134; Pe. X 737; 

TH. XXIX 
Hesperia, Pe. XHI 104 
Hesperides, S. II 606 
Hezekiah, TH. XXIV 
Hiberus (Ebro), S. II 605; Pe. I 117; 

II 537 
Hieremlas, H. 450 
Hierusalem, Ps. 811 
Hippocrates, Pe. X 498 
Hippolytus (martyr), Pe. XI; (son 

of Theseus) S. II 55 ; Pe. XI 87 
Hirquinum Sidus (= Capricorn), A. 

621 
Hispani, Pe. VI 4. v. Spain. 



38^ 



INDEX 



Hister, S. H 604, 697 

Hittites, H. 420 

Hivites, H. 422 

Holofemes, Ps. 60 

Homer, S. II 46 

Honestas (personified), Ps. 243 

Honorius, S. II 7, 12, 17, 67, 655, 710, 

760, 764, 1115 
Huns, S. II 808 
Hyacinthus, Pe. X 188 
Hydrius Puer (= Aquarius), A. 622 
Hylas, S. I 119 

Ida, S. 1 187, II 522 

Idaea Mater, Pe. X 155. v. Cybele, 

Idalium, S. II 524 

Idololatrix Keligio (personified), H. 

404 
leiunia (personified), Ps. 244 
Iliaca Mater, S. I 628. v. Oybele. 
lUyricum, Pe. VII 7 
Indians, H. 497, 634; S. I 122; II 

929 ; Pe. X 279 
Innocents (Massacre of), 0. XII 93; 

Pe. X 736 ; TH. XXIX 
Insomnia (personified), Ps. 465 
locus (personified), Ps. 433 
Ira (personified), H. 395; Ps. 113, 

131, 145, 161, 379 
Isaac, Pe. X 748 
Isaiah, A. 595 ; Pe. V 524 
Iscariot, Ps. 530; TH. XXXIX 
Isis, S. I 629 ; II 494, 869 ; Pe. Ill 76 
IsraeUtes, 0. V 37, 58; XII 95, 160; 

H. 462 ff.; Ps. 651; Pe. I 40; 

II 365 ; III 51. V. Hebrews. 
Italus, S. I 233 
Italy, S. I 57, 112, H 697 
lulua, Pe. n 456 
lustitia (personified), Ps. 243; S. I 

pr. 57 
luvencus (= constellation Taurus), A. 

620 

Jacob, 0. n 73; XH 186; A. 31; 

H. 452 
Janiculum, S. U 950; Pe. XI 45 
Janus, S. I 233, 237 ; Pe. II 449 
Jebusites, H. 416 
Jeremiah, H. 450 

Jericho, H. 480 ; Ps. 536 ; TH. XVI 
Jerusalem, Ps. 811 
Jesse, 0. XII 50 ; TH. XIX 
Jesus, 0. 1 81; VII 178; A. 222, 417, 

502, 770, 935, 991, 1057; Ps. 764, 



777; Pe. VII 56; TH. XXVI; 

XXX VT 
Jews, 0. XI 89, 113, XII 181, 202; 

A. 321-551 ; H. 452 S. 
Job, Ps. 163 
John (the Baptist), 0. VII 46; A. 

589; Pe. V 376; TH. XXX; 

XXXrV; (the Apostle), 0. VI 77, 

108; A. 9, 75; H. 911; TH. 

XLIX 
Jonah, 0. VII 101 
Jonathan, Ps. 397 
Jordan, 0. II 64; H. 482; Ps. 99; 

Pe. VII 66 ; TH. XV 
Joseph, 0. VI 57 ; TH. VI; VII 
Joshua, 0. XII 173 
Judah, 0. XII 181; A. 1011; Ps. 

383, 543, 547 
Judas, Ps. 530; TH. XXXIX 
Judith, Ps. 62 
Jugurtha, S. I 525 
Julia, Pe. IV 151 
Julia Lex, Pe. X 203 
Julian, A. 449 
Juno, A. 189, 456; S. I 71, 184, 251, 

293; U 497, 870; Pe. X 214, 287, 

V. Satumia. 
Jupiter, A. 413 ; S. I 27, 60, 74, 84, 

183, 250, 275, 292, 388, 579, 609; 

U 492, 667, 680, 687, 708, 747, 771; 

Pe. II 12, 465; VI 39; X 201, 209, 

221, 227, 233, 272, 295, 396, 415, 

619; XIII 93. v. Diespiter, 

Latiaris, Tonans. 
Justus, Pe. IV 41 

Kalendae, S. I 240 

Labarum, S. I 464, 487 
Labor (personified), Ps. 629 
Lacaena, S. I 60 

Lacedaemon, H. 365; S. U 247, 519 
Lachesis, S. 11 454 
Laomedon, 8. II 968 
Larentina, S. 11 563 
Lares, S. I 204; Pe. II 511; X 261 
Laterani Aedes, S. I 585 
Latiaris, S. I 396. v. Jupiter. 
Latina Via, S. I 404 
Latium, S. I 42, 48 
Latonia Virgo, S. I 366. v. Biana. 
Lavema, S. II 870 
Lawrence, Pe. II 

Lazarus, O. IX 47; A. 743; TH. 
XXXVIII 



381 



INDEX 



Leda, S. I 64, 228 

Lemnius, Pe. X 213. v. Vulcan. 

Leo (constellation), A. 618 

Leontini, S. II 940 

Lerna, Pe. X 881 

Lethe, O. VI 18 

Levi, A. 1011 ; Ps. 502 

Liber, S, I 144; Pe. X 274. r. 

Bacchus. 
Libido (personified), Ps. 42, 87, 98 
Libya, A. 443; S. 1184; 11491,937; 

Pe. XIII 4, 102. V. Africa. 
Llgures, S. II 701 
Lilybeum, S. II 941 
Livia, S. I 251, 292-3 
Livor (personified), H. 397 
Lot, H. 725, 738, 758, 766; Ps. pr. 

16, 32. 
Lot's Wife, H. 738-776 
Lucifer, 0. V 130 ; XII 32 ; A. 626 ; 

TH. XXVI 
Lucina, S. II 222 
Luctus (personified), H. 395 
Luke, A. 1001 
Luna, S. I 365 

Luperci, S. II 862 ; Pe. II 518 ; X 162 
Lupercus (martyr), Pe. IV 146 
Lusitania Pe. IV 37 
Luxuria, Luxuries, Luxus (personified), 

Ps. 311, 342, 378, 405, 456 
Lyaeus, S. I 276 

Maccabei Pratres, Pe. V 523, 533; 

X 751-780 
Macedonians, S. II 647 
Maeror (personified), H. 396 
Magi, 0. XII 28, 61, 182; A. 608, 

646 ; TH. XXVII 
Maia, S. I 87 
Malum (personified = Vitium), Ps. 

667 
Mamre, TH. IV 
Mammon, H. 428 ; Pe. I 58 
Manasses, 0. XII 190 
Manicheism, A. 952 ft. 
Marah, O. V93; TH. XIII 
Marcion, H. pr. 36 ; H. 1, 56,. 124, 129, 

502 
Marios, S. I 524 
Mars, Ps. 118, 215, 549; S. I 174, 

181, 185, 284, 293, 626; II 495, 

672, 687; Pe. X 212, 619. v. 

Gradivus, Mayors. 
Marsians, S. II 516 
Martialis, Pe. IV 149 



Mary, A. 643 ; Ps. 88 ; TH. XXV 

Massyli, Pe. IV 46 

Mater Deorum, S. I 187; II 51; Pe. 

X 200, 1062, 1074. v. Cybele. 
Matthew, A. 981 ; Pe. X 16 
Matuta, S. II 563 
Mauri, A. 433 
Mayors, Ps. 240; Pe. X 412, 611. 

V. Mars. 
Maxentius, S. I 469 
Maximian, Pe. I 41; III 77, 81; V 

21. V. Oaesar. 
Megaera, S. I 368 
Megalesius, S. I 628 ; II 863 
Melchisedec, Ps. pr. 43 
Memphis, H. 462; S. II 531, 924. 

V. Egypt. 
Mens Humilis (personified), Ps. 199, 

203, 248, 267, 274 
Mentor, Pe. X 291 
Mercury, S. I 87; II 520; Pe. X 194. 

V. Cyllenius. 
Messiah, Pe. X 17 
Metus (personified), Ps. 464, 629 
Minerya, A. 455; S. II 635; Pe. X 

275; XIV 27. r. Pallas, Tritonia. 
Mithridates, S. II 562 
Moab, H. 778 

Morbus (= Satan), 0. X 105 
Moses, Moyses, 0. V 31, 63; VII 37; 

XII 144; A. 32, 51, 295, 302, 315; 

H. 339; Pe. II 363; VI 86; TH 

VIII; IX; X; XII; XIU; XIV 
Mulvius Pons, S. I 482 
Musa, S. II 54. v. Camena. 
Myron, Pe. X 269 
Myrrhae Lacus, 0. V 93 ; TH. XIII 

Naomi, H. 779 

Napaeae, S. I 303 

Narbo, Pe. IV 34 

Naxos, S. I 188 

Nazareus, Nazarenus, C. VII 1; S. 

I 619; Pe. V 25; X 45 
Neaera, S. I 139; Pe. X 240 
Nebroth, H. 143 
Nebuchadnezzar, A. 129 
Nemea, S. I 118 
Neptune, S. I 301 
Nero, S. II 669; Pe. U 472; XII 

11,23 
Nerones (stepsons of Augustus), S. I 

279 
Nerva, S. I 278 
Nestor, Pe. X 408 



382 



INDEX 



Nile, 0. V 45; S. II 607, 866, 871, 921 

NUicola, Ps. 655; S. 11 494 

Nimrod, H. 143 

Ninevites, 0. VII 86, 131 

Noah, TH. Ill 

Nola, Pe. XI 208 

Noomin, H. 779 

Novatus, Pe. XI 19, 29 

Numa, A. 215; S. I 103, 193; II 

47, 543 ; Pe. II 444, 514 ; X 403 
Numitor, S. I 193 
Nymphae, S. I 302 ; Pe. X 243 
Nysa, 8. 1 628 

Obtrectatlo (personified), H. 397 

Olivet, TH. XLIV 

Olybriacus, S. I 554 

Olympus, S. I 59 

Operatio (personified), Ps. 573 

Optatus, Pe. IV 146 

Orcus, S. I 406. v. Dis, Pluto. 

Orpah, H. 778, 782 

Osiris, S. I 629 

Ostiensis Via, Pe. XII 45 

Padus, S. IC 702 

Palatium, Palatinus, A. 481 ; S. I 

182; II 766, 1103 
Palladium, S. 1 195; 11 544-546, 911, 

966 ; Pe. II 511 
Pallas, S. I 184; 11 221, 492, 545, 

970. V. Minerva. 
Pallor (personified), Ps. 464 
Pan, Pe. X 242 
Pannonia, S. II 716 
Paphia, S. I 285, II 676. v. Venus. 
Paraclitus, 0. V 160 ; Pe. X 430 
Paradise, 0. V 112-124; X 162; H. 

839, 928, 952 
Paros, S. II 246 ; Pe. XI 187 ; XII 61 
Parthians, A. 225; H. 497, 533 
Passover, A. 348, 355 
Pastor, Pe. TV 41 
Patientia (personified), Ps. 109, 128, 

155, 175, 177 
Paul (Apostle), H. 506; S. I pr.; 

II 670; Pe. II 459-461, 469, 519; 

XI 32; XII; XIII 18; TH. 

XLVIII ; (of Narbo), Pe. IV 34 
Paulini, S. I 558 
Pax (personified), Ps. 631, 668 
Pelusiacus, 0. V 58 ; S. II 925 
Penates, S. I 195; II 966; Pe. II 

448 
Pergama, S. 1 194 ; II 967 



Periuria (personified), Ps. 464 

Perizzites, H. 420 

Persa, Persicus, 0. XII 25, 203; H. 

453; 8. II 677; Pe. X 363 
Persephone, A. 475. v. Proserpina. 
Perses, S. II 562 
Peter, 0. I 50; 8. I 584; II pr.; 

II 670; Pe. II 459-464, 470, 519; 

VII 61; XI 32; XII; TH. XXXV; 

XL VI; XL VII 
Petulantia (personified), Ps. 433 
Pharaoh, C. V 45, 70; VI 62; XII 

141; A. 361; H. 464; TH. VI; 

VIII; IX 
Pharos, 0. V 82 ; A. 361 ; 8. II 921 
Pherezaeus, H. 420 
Phidias, Pe. X 292 
Philip, A. 120 
Philippi (coins), Pe. II 102 
Phlegethon, 0. Ill 199; A. 750; 

H. 827; 8. 1381 
Phoebus, S. I 627. v. Apollo. 
Photinus, Ps. 794 
Phryx, Phrygius, S. I 168, 187; II 

497, 972 ; Pe. II 448 
Physici, H. 582 ; 8. II 203 
Picentines, Pe. XI 206 
Picus, 8. 1 234 
Pietas (personified), Ps. 239 
Pilate, A. 381 
Pinaria Domus, S. 1 120 
Plato, A. 200; S. I 30 
Pluto, 8. I 357, 367, 388, 398; Pe. 

V 99. V. Dis, Orous. 
Poenus, Punicus, 8. II 246, 739, 945 ; 

Pe. IV 61 ; XIII 1 
Pollentia, 8. II 720 
Pollux, A. 459 ; 8. 1227 
Polyolitus, Pe. X 269 
Pomerium, Pe. XI 153 
Pompa (personified), Ps. 439 
Pompeius, A. 539 
Pompilius, Pe. X 403. v. Numa. 
Porta Speciosa, TH. XLVI 
Priam, 8. II 968 

Priapus, 8. I 103; II 870; Pe. X 242 
Primltivus, Pe. IV 158 
Probi, S. I 551 
Proserpina, A. 488; 8. I 357, 367; 

Pe. X 237. V. Hecate, Luna, 

Persephone, Trivia. 
Prudentius, Pr.; A. 450; H. 933 flE.; 

S. I 643 fE.; II pr. 44 ff.; Pe. I 

116; II 537 ff., 574 fE.; IV 1, 31, 

63, 97, 101, 141; VI 143, 160; 



INDEX 



IX 3 ff., 99 ff.; X 11, 21, 1136 £f.; 

XI 1 flE., 177 a., 243 ; XIV 126 ff. ; 
E 

Pubiius, Pe. IV 153 

Pudicitia (personified), Ps. 41, 99, 238 

Pudor (personified), Ps. 245 

Pyrenees, Pe. II 540; VI 147 

Pyrrha, Pe. X 410 

Pyrrhus, S. II 662 

Quintilianus, Pe. IV 152 

Quirinus (= Romulus), S. I 539 ; II 

305; Pe. II 419; (martyr), Pe. 

VII 
Quirites, S. I 358; II 947; Pe. II 

513, 563 ; XI 199 ; XIV 4 

Bahab, TH. XVI 

Batio (personified), Ps. 502, 505 

Bed Sea (crossed by Israelites), C. 

V 57-80; H. 471-474; Ps. 650- 

662 ; Pe. V 481-484 ; TH. IX 
Bemus, S. II 299, 396, 946 ; Pe. II 425 
Besurrection, 0. Ill 191-205; X 

33-60, 137-148; A. 1062-1084; S. 

II 191-194, 204-211; Pe. IV 199 
Bhea Silvia, S. 1 167, 174 
Bhine, S. II 604 
Bhodes, S. II 494 
Bomanus, Pe. X 
Bome (deified), S. I 219 ; (personified), 

S. II 80, 650; (changes of govem- 
- ment), S. II 413-435; (tombs of 

martyrs), Pe. II 541 ff. ; XI 1 ff. ; 

XII 29 a. ; XrV 1 ; (her historical 
mission), S. I 287-290; II 583- 
640; Pe. II 413-440 

Eomulus, S. II 396; Pe. II 443; X 

413, 611. V. Quirinus. 
Buth, H. 778, 785 

Sabaoth, 0. IV 7, A. 833 

Sabbata, A. 504, 505, 994, 996 

Sabellius, A. 3, 178 

Sabines, S. I 114 

Sabinus, S. I 233 

Sacra Via, S. I 218 

Sagittae (constellation), A. 622 

Saguntum, Pe. IV 100 

Salaria Via, S. I 406 

Salia, Pr. 24 

Salii, 8. I 120 

Salvator, 0. I 60; S. I pr. 80; Pe, I 

115; TH. XXXIII 
Samnites, 8. II 516 ; Pe. XI 207 



Samson, TH. XVII; XVHI 

Samuel, Ps. 388 

Sapientia (Divine Wisdom), T. 2; 
H. 164, 346; Ps. 975, 915; 8. I 
pr. 46; II 628; TH. XXI; 
(philosophy personified), H. 402 

Sara, Ps. pr. 47 ; TH. IV ; V 

Sardinia, S. II 943, 946 

Sarmatians, 8. II 808 

Satan, H. 126-205, 389-431; (Allo- 
philus tyrannus), H. 600; (aspis), 
0. Ill 147; (Bella), H. 520; Ps. 
714; (Beliades), H. 610; (Charon 
mundi), H. 502; (dominatio 
lubrica mundi), H. 540; (fera), C. 
IV 78; (hostis), 0. VII 191, 201; 
A. pr. 41; H. 406, 554; (hydrus), 
H. 614; (latro), H. 608; (liquor), 
A. 411; (morbus), O. X 106; 
(pater scelerum), H. 126 ; (scelerum 
potestas), H. 424; (praedo), C. XI 
38; H. 390; (vipera), 0. Ill 150. 
V. Anguis, Coluber, Daemon, 
Draco, Serpens. 

Saturn, A. 189; S. I 42, 234, 627; 
II 296 ; Pe. II 462 ; X 206 

Saturnalia, 8. 11 859 

Saturnia (= Juno), 8. I 253 ; (town), 
S. 151 

Saturnini, Pe. IV 163 

Saul (Paul), TH. XLVIU 

Saxons, 8. II 809 

Scabies, H. 158 

Scantinia Lex, Pe. X 204 

Scarioth, Ps. 530 

Scelus (personified), Ps. 630 

Scots, A. 216 

Scriptures, v. Bible. 

Scythia, 0. XII 203; A, 426; S. II 
294 

Senate, S. I 223, 249, 493, 544, 662, 
573, 603, 608 ; II 61, 417, 418, 420, 
432 ; Pe. II 446, 450, 517; V 108 

Senones, S. II 688, 721 

Sensus (personified), Ps. 729, 769, 841 

Seraphin, 0. IV 6 

SerapU, 8. II 532, 869 

Sermo (The Word), C. Ill 141; VI 
3; XI 52; A. 166. f. Verbum. 

Serpens (= Satan), 0. VI 141; IX 
91; A. 406. f. Satan. 

Severus, 8. I 278 

Sexagenaries de Ponte, S. II 294 

Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, A, 
129 ff.; Pe. VI109 



384 



INDEX 



Sibyl, S. 11 893 

Sibylline Books, A. 440 

Sicily, S. 11 302, 945 

Silotim, A. 680 ; TH. XXXIII 

Simeon, A. 1011 

Simon, S. II pr. 1 

Simplicitns (personified), Ps. 246 

Sion, H. 459 

Sirius, C. XIT 22 

Siscia, Pe. VII 3 

Sitis Sanguinis, S. Vini, S. Auri 

(personified), H. 396 
Sobrietas (personified), Ps. 244, 345, 

403, 417, 450 

Sodom, Sodomites, A. 316; H. 725, 

735, 740, 763, 773; Ps. pr. 17; 

Ps. 42 ; Pe. V 195 

Sol Invictus, S. I 310; Pe. X 573 (?) 

Solomon, A. 512; H. 576, 579; Ps. 

807 ; TH. XXI ; XLVI 
Sordes (personified), Ps. 465 
Soul (its nature), A. 782 fl.; (its 
power of vision), C. VI 73 fE.; H. 
867 ff. 
Spain, S. II 605; Pe. I 4; II 537; 

VI 4, 5, 144; XIII 537 
Spes (personified), Ps. 201, 278, 284 
Spiritus (The Holy Spirit), C. IV 14 ; 
VI 4; VII 75; IX 20; T. 3, 10; 
A. 164, 242, 435, 436, 572, 667, 
694, 881; H. pr. 37; H. 165, 932; 
Ps. pr. 64; Ps. 766, 840; S. II 
266; Pe. VIII 11; X 104, 682; 
XIII 9, 71; TH. XXV; XXX 
Stator, Pe. X 415 
Stephen, Pe. II 371 ; TH. XLV 
Sterculus, Pe. II 449 
Stilicho, S. II 711, 743 
Stvx, C. V 126; A. 228; H. 128; 

Ps. 520; S. I 356 
Subura, Pe. XI 45 
Successus, Pe. IV 149 
Sulla, Pe. IX 1 

Superbia (personified), Ps. 178, 203 
Superstitio (personified), H. 396 
Symmachus, S. I pr. 66 flf. ; S. I 
622, 632 £f.; II pr. 55 ff.; II 5, 
10, 17, 19, 67, 271 ff., 309, 370, 540, 
578, 644, 760, 770, 771 
Svnna, S. II 247 
Syrtes, A. 443 ; S. II 356 

Taenara, A. 749 
Tagus, S. II 605 
Tarentum, S. II 748 



Tarpeius, A. 508; S. I 548; Pe. V 

106. r. Capitol. 
Tarraoo, Pe. IV 23; VI 1, 158 
Tarshish, C. VII 105 
Tartarus, 0. I 70; V 133; IX 18, 

71; XI 112; XII 92; A. 638; H. 

824, 882, 958; Ps. 90, 521; S. I 

26, 357, 370, 531; Pe. II 288; V 

200; X 475; XIII 52 
Tauriea Sacra, S. I 395 
Taurobolium, Pe. X 1008-1050 
Terminus, S. II 1009 
Tharsos, C. VII 105 
Thascius, Pe. XIII 88, 93 
Thebes, S. I 122, II 496 
Theodosius I, S. I 4, 9 ff., 28. 36 fl., 

410 ff., 528, 538, 616 ff. ; II 8, 21, 

656, 1117 ; Pe. II 473 ff. ; Pe. XII 47. 
Theodosius (father of the above), S. 

II 8 22 
Thessa'lian Witchcraft, A. 477; S. I 

89 ; Pe. X 869 
Thracians, C. XII 203 
Thule, H. 881 
Tiber, S. I 482; II 606, 871, 938; 

Pe. XI40; XII 7, 29 
Tibricolae, Pe. XI 174 
Tingis, Pe. IV 45 

Tirynthius, Pe. X 239. r. Hercules. 
Titus, A. 538; S. I 279 
Tobias, C. X 69 
Tonans (= Jupiter), Pe. X 222, 277; 

(= God), 0. VI 81; XII 83; A. 

171 ; H. 376, 669 ; Ps. 640 ; Pe. VI 98 
Trajan, S. I 278 
Tres Coronae, Pe. IV 20 
Trinacrius Ductor, S. II 302 
Trinity, C. VI 5 ; T ; Ps. pr. 63 ; Pe. 

VI 6 
Triptolemus, S. II 918 
Tritouia, S. II 574. v. Minerva. 
Trivia, S. I 369 ; II 53. v. Diana. 
Tros, S. I 233 

TuUius (= Cicero), S. I 634 
Tullus, S. I 193 
Tuscus, S. I 57 ; II 302, 702 
Twelve Tables, S. II 462 
Tyre, H. 496 

Ulysses, S. II 544 
Urbanus, Pe. IV 150 

Valentia, Pe. IV 97 
Valerian (emperor), Pe. II 47, 95, 97, 
311 ; XIII 35; (bishop) Pe. XI 2 



385 



INDEX 



Valerii, Pe. IV 80 
Vandals, S. II 808 
Vasoones, Pe. I 94; II 537 
Vaticanus Mons, S. I 583; Pe. XII 

31 ff., 63 
Veneti, S. II 700 
Venus, S. I 172, 185, 221, 266, 293, 

626; II 226, 535, 555; Pe. Ill 76; 

X 256. V. Cypris, Cytherea, Paphia, 

Idalium. 
Vemistas (personiSed), Ps. 441 
Verbum (The Word), C. VII 1 ; XI 

18, 23, 24; T. 6, 7; A. 44, 49, 53, 

72, 74, 108, 109, 114, 115, 116, 120, 

267, 403, 524, 525; Ps. 78; Pe X 

339, 340. V. Sermo. 
Vesta, S. I 195; II 913, 966, 970, 

1079; Pe. II511 



Vestal Virgins, S. II 912, 919, 1001, 

1064 fl. ; Pe. II 528 
Vettonia, Pe. Ill 187 
Victoria, S. II 28, 33, 36, 59 
Vincent, Pe. IV 77, 89, 179; V 
Virgo (constellation), A. 623 
Virtus (personified), i?s. passim. 
Vis (personified), Ps. 629 
Vitium (personified), Ps. passim, i: 

Culpae, Malum. 
Voluptas (personified), Ps. 444 
Vulcan, S. I 305, 626; Pe. II 356, 404. 

V. Lemnius. 

Xystus, Pe. ir22 

Zebusiaci, H. 416 
ZofiUus, Pe. IV 19 
Zoroaster, A. 494 



386 



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Dio Cassius : Roman History. E. Cary. 9 Vols. (Vols. I. 

and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Dio Chrysostom. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby. 5 

Vols. (Vols. I-III. 2nd Imp.) 
DiODOBUs SicuLUS. 12 Vols. Vols. I.-VI. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. VII. C. L. Sherman. Vols. IX. and X. R. M. Geer. 

(Vols. I.-III. 2nd Imp.) 
Diogenes Laebtius. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 'Uh Imp. 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Dionysius of Halicarnassus : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. (Vols. I-IV. 
2nd Imp.) 
Epictetus. VV. a. Oldfather. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Euripides. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 1th Imp., III. 

6th Imp., IV. 6th Imp.) Verse trans. 
EusEBius : Ecclesiastical History. Kirsopp Lake and 

J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vol. II. ith Imp.) 
Galen : On the Natural Faculties. A. J. Brock. (4/A 

Imp.) 
The Greek Anthology. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. (Vols. I. and 

II. Bth Imp., Vol. III. 4th Imp., Vols. IV. and V. 3rd Imp.) 
Greek Elegy and Iambus with the Anacreontea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
The Greek Bucolic Poets (Theocritus, Bion, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. (1th Imp. revised.) 
Ckeek Mathematical Works. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. (2nd 

Imp.) 

6 



HeBODES. Cf. THEOPHRASTtJS : CHARACTERS. 

Herodotus. A. D. Godloy. 4 Vols. (Vols. I.-III. 4:th Imp., 

Vol. IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Hesiod and The Homeric Hymns. H. Q. Evelyn White. 

(Ith Imp. revised and enlarged.) 
Hippocrates and the Fragments of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols, i'ird Imp.) 
Homer: Iliad. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. {Gth Imp.) 
Homer: Odyssey. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. (7th Imp.) 
IsAEUS. E. W. Forster. (2?id Imp.) 

IsocRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
St. John Damascene : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. {2nd Imp. revised.) 
JosEPHUS. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I.-VII. (Vol. V. 3rd Imp., Vol. VI. 2nd Imp.) 
Julian. Wiimer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.. 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
LuciAN. A. M. Harmon. 8 Vols. Vols. I.-V. (Vols. I and 

II. 4th Imp., Vol. 111. 3rd Imp.. Vol. IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Lycophron. Cf. Callimacuus. 
Lyra Graeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. ith Imp., 

Vol. II. revised atui enlarged, and III. 3rd Imp.) 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. {2nd Imp.) 
Manetho. W. G. Waddell ; Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. F. E. 

Robbins. {2nd Imp.) 
Marcus Aurei.ius. C. R. Haines. {4th Imp. revised.) 
Menander. F. G. Allinson. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Minor Attic Orators (Antiphon, Andocldes, Demade> 

Deinarchus, Hypereides). K. J. Maidment and J. C) 

Burrt. 2 Vols. Vol. I. K. J. Maidment. (2nd Imp.) 
NONNOs : Dionysiaca. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. (Vol. III. 

2nd Imp.) 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus. a. W. Mair. 
Papyri. Non-Literary Selections. A. S. Hunt and 0. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) Literary Selections. 

Vol. I. (Poetry). D. L. Page. (3rd Imp.) 
Pakthenius. Cf. Daphnis and Chlob. 
Pausanias : Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones. 6 

Vols, and Companion Vol. arranged by R. E. Wycherley. 

(Vols. I. and II. 2nd Imp.) 
Philo. 11 Vols. Vols. I.-V.; F. H. Colson and Rev. G. li 

Whitaker. Vols. VI.-IX. ; F. H. Colson. (Vols. I.-llI.. V. 

IX. 2ud Imp., Vol. IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Philo: two supplementary Vols. {Translation only.) 
Philostbatus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. Uh Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Philostbatus : Imagines ; Callistratus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sopiiist-;. 

Wiimer Cave Wright. (2nd Imp.) 
Pindab. Sir J. E. Sandys. (~ith Imp. revised.) 
C 



Plato : Charmides, Alcibiades, Hipparchus, The LovEEd 

Theages, Minos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. (2nd Imp.) 
Plato : Ckatylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, Lesser 

HiPPiAS. H. N. Fowler. {Uh Imp.) 
Plato : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus 

H. N. Fowler. {9th Imp.) 
Plato : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. W. R. M. 

Lamb. {3rd lm.p. revised.) 
1'lato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Biiry. 2 Vols, ('ird Imp.) 
I'LATO : Lysis, Symposium, Gorgias. W. R. M. Lamb, [ith 

Imp. revised.) 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. ^th Imp.. 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Plato: Statesman, Philebds. H.N. Fowler; Ion. W. R. M. 

Lamb. {Uh Imp.) 
Plato : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler. {Uh Imp. 
Plato : Timaeus, Critias, Clitopho, Menexenus, Epistulae. 

Rev. R. G. Bury. {3rd Imp.) 
Plutarch: Mobalia. 14 Vols. Vols. I.-V. F. C. Babbitt; 

Vol.VL W.C.Helmbold; Vol. X. H. N. Fowler. (Vols. 1., 

III., and X. 2nd Imp.) 
Plutarch : The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. 1 1 Vols. 

(Vols. I., II., and VII. 3rd Imp., Vols. III., IV.. VI., and VIIL- 

XI. 2nd Imp.) 
PoLYBius. \V. R. Paton. (5 Vols. 
Procopius : History of the Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. Of. Manbtho. 

QuiNTUS Smyrnaeus. a. S. Way. Verse trans. {2nd Imp.) 
Sextus Empiricus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. (Vol. 1. and 

III. 2nd Imp.) 
Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Volu. (Vol. 1. 9iA Imp., Vol. II. Ot/i 

Imp.) Verse trans. 
Stbabo : Geography. Horace L. Jonea. 8 Vols. (Vols. 1. 

and VIII. 3rd Imp., Vols. II., V., and VI. 2nd Imp.) 
Theophrastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds; Herodes, 

etc. A. D. Knox. (3;-d. Imp.) 
Theophrastus : Enquiry into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort, 

Bart. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. (Vol. i. Uh Imp., Vols. 

II., III. and IV. 3rd Imp. revised.^ 
Tbyphiodoeus. Cf. Oppian. 

Xenophon : Cyropaedia. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Hellenica, Anabasis, Apology, and Symposium. 

C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. (Vols. I. and III. 

3rd Imp., Vol. II. Uh Imp.) 
Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Marchant. 

{2nd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Scbipia Minora. E. C. Marchant. {2nd Imp.) 



IN PREPARATION 



Greek Authors 

Aristotle : De Mundo, etc. D. Furley and E. M. Forster. 
Akistotle : History of Animals. A. L. Pock. 
Aristotle : Meteorologica. H. D. P. Lee. 



Plotinus : A. H. Armstrong. 



Latin Authors 

St. Augustine : City of God. 
[Cicero] : Ad Herennium. H. Caplan. 

CicEKO : Pro Sestio, In Vatinium, Pro Cablio, De Pbovinciis 
CoNSULABiBUS, Pro Balbo. J. H. Freese and R. Gardner. 
Phaedrus. Ben E. Perry. 



DESCRIPTIVE PROSPECTUS ON APPLICATION 



London 
Cambridge, Mass. 



WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 




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